PUTRAJAYA: Jalur Gemilang-inspired fashion turned heads at the National Day parade, but none more so than Mohammad Jamil Abdul Hamid who came decked in a suave red and white striped coat and a bright yellow shirt.
Topping off his patriotic outfit that embodies “I love Malaysia” is a towering deep blue turban encircled with red and white jewels, and the iconic crescent and star hanging above it.
“I designed this myself. Every Merdeka Day, I make something different.
“It took me more than three weeks to create the turban, ” said the 60-year-old Kuala Lumpur native who had been attending the National Day parades for the past 15 years.
Mohammad Jamil is a third-generation tailor whose 85-year-old family business creates custom-made uniforms for the civil service.“We make uniforms for the Malaysian Armed Forces, the Royal Johor Military Force, the Johor Royal Family, Customs Department, Immigration Department and even Bomba.
“I have been in the trade for 42 years and have made hundreds of thousands of uniforms.
“When I was a child in 1977, I started working with my father and grandfather making uniforms for the Defence Ministry, ” he said.
“It is more than a job. This is my patriotic duty, this is not only for money. This is my duty for my country. I am working for my country.
“When I am sewing a jacket, I am making uniforms for one of the best armed forces in the world, ” he said.
Mohammad Jamil said it was not an easy task as every item had to be tailored accurately according to a very specific design.
“We have to follow the guidelines to a tee – the number of buttons, the length and placement – it cannot move even 1cm up or down, ” he said.
As he watched the army men march down the street at Persiaran Perdana, Mohammad Jamil said he was scrutinising the costumes to make sure there were no mistakes in his and his team’s handiwork.
“So we can continue to tailor better uniforms for our civil servants, ” he said, adding that he was grateful for the “important job” that allows him to serve the men who serve the country.
“I always pray for them. I pray for my armed forces. I pray for my country.
“My grandfather prays too. We pray for them to be safe, ” he said, revealing that he was already training his 25-year-old son to continue the family business.