KUALA LUMPUR: Raising the flag is a good reminder of how to embody the spirit of the country in our everyday lives.
Star Media Group’s Raise The Flag campaign has struck a chord with many Malaysians, who feel that we should celebrate what brings us together.
“I think a campaign like this is a good reminder for us to step back and look at what’s truly important,” said AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes.
“Raising the flag means being the best Malaysian you can be every day.
“This means understanding that Malaysia is a multicultural country with all its benefits and complexities, and working together to create an amazing society from that.
“We have to remember that we are all in the same boat, and learn to manage our differences and respect viewpoints that may not be the same as ours,” he added.
Whether she is at home or abroad, writer and activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir believes her actions represent the country she is proud of.
“I raise the flag every day when I try to do everything in an ethical way, by aspiring to the highest standards of professionalism and knowledge,” she said.
“It then becomes habitual, so I will act the same way abroad. For example, if I refuse to participate in any form of corruption at home, it would be natural not to do it overseas, thus doing my country proud each time.”
Marina also believes national unity is important but should not be confused with national uniformity.
“It doesn’t mean everybody has to be, think and act the same way, as long as we act ethically and are respectful of everyone else,” she said.
Pastor and social activist Rev Dr Sivin Kit said raising the flag makes him aware of his citizenship and responsibility as a Malaysian.
“It’s an important reminder that we are all part of this national project – a work in progress since 1963 – to shape the realities around us so we may all flourish,” he said.
“Deeper than our citizenship is a basic concept of neighbourliness in an increasingly fragmented world.”
George Town Festival director Joe Sidek raises the flag at his family-owned factory every year, as well as at the festival.
“It’s about taking pride in my country and fellow Malaysians,” he said.
To that end, the ongoing George Town Festival in Penang is another way to celebrate that pride.
“We have amazing talent here in Malaysia. I believe in the young Malaysians I work with and I love giving them opportunities to take on the world,” he said.
“In these challenging times, focus on our collective strength and pride to achieve a little positivity in life.”
Held till Malaysia Day on Sept 16, Raise the Flag seeks to strengthen national pride among Malaysians. The main sponsor is Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd and the co-sponsor is Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd.
Four-page spreads will enable Malaysians to cut out and assemble their own mini flags.
A T-shirt template will also be included in the centrespread. Decorate the T-shirt with a Malaysian motif and be photographed “wearing” it while holding the flag.
Hashtag your best pose #RaiseTheFlagMY on social media, along with a short love note to Malaysia. You can also share it on Facebook as: raisetheflagmy.
Prizes await the best photos. Submissions with at least 15 persons (with T-shirts, flags and a message to Malaysia) stand to win a buffet worth RM4,000 for 100 pax at their school/office/home from Original Kayu Nasi Kandar.
For flag assembly instructions, T-shirt tips and a social media wall, visit thestar.com.my/raisetheflag.
To bulk order special Raise The Flag issues of The Star (Aug 18, 20, 21 and Sept 14), contact The Star’s Customer Care Unit at 1300 887 827 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm).
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