Sunday, September 08, 2013
Empat Belas Melintang Jalurnya

There is something about this guy that I secretly adore, and I've no idea where to start. He orders the same drink every time, crosses his legs like a man and still an excellent reader of my hidden intention. He is a prime example of tragedy in a hero no one will ever know. My kind of hero.

He is Ku Ali, and he is back.


2013 had seen the sovereignty of our nation challenged from without and betrayed from within. From without, we have seen a disgruntled pretender landing his mob at Lahad Datu. From within, a group of confused individuals insulted our National Flag on the eve of National Day. Both incidences are crimes against our nation and people. However, we feel the latter to be the more sinister of the two.

We write this article especially for those who are confused and trying to confuse others. Let us begin by explaining what is Malaysia, and some of the entities that is part of her history.

This country of ours is Malaysia. She was formed on 16th September 1963. She comprises the Malaysian Peninsula and the states of Sabah and Sarawak on Borneo Island. She has a flag, which bears a 14-point star and 14 stripes, representing all the states within this federation. This flag had been wholeheartedly accepted by all Malaysians for 50 years. Malaysians may have our own ideas on how this country should be run, but we had all rallied united behind the Jalur Gemilang for half a century.

On 31st August 1957, the Federation of Malaya, or Persekutuan Tanah Melayu, gained independence from Britain. That federation comprised only the states on the southern region of the Malay Peninsula. Sarawak and North Borneo (as Sabah was then known) were still under British rule. She had a flag with an 11-point star and 11 stripes, reflecting the geopolitical reality of that period. However, with the formation of Malaysia in 1963, the country called Malaya officially ceased to exist. And because Malaya had ceased to exist, the displaying of her 11-stripe flag lost national significance in our country Malaysia.

Langkasuka is an ancient kingdom, probably situated towards the north or middle regions of the Malay Peninsula. Her territory may have included the Thai Malay states and areas within modern Perlis, Kedah and Kelantan. Her influence did not extend across the South China Sea, to Borneo, where Sabah and Sarawak lies.

In any country, only one flag can fly as the national flag. Any attempt to replace the national flag that had already been accepted by the overwhelming majority of citizens, is a seditious, malicious act. It is an act of lese majeste, crimes that jeopardize the dignity of the nation and her symbols. It is an indication of sinister intent to cause unnecessary division and discord amongst the population.

Our National Day was spoilt by a widely disseminated YouTube video. In that video, a hysterical man was shouting insults at our National Flag, insisting that it be thrashed in favour of the flag he termed the Sang Saka Malaya. He put forward some conflicting information he tried to package as historical facts. He insisted that our National Flag is a ‘bendera tipu daripada Amerika,’ and we should change it with the Sang Saka Malaya, which he claimed to be a heritage of the Malay kingdom of Langkasuka. Then he claimed that the Sang Saka Malaya was the flag raised by the ‘rakyat’ in 1947. While waving that flag, he claimed that it was the flag of Tanah Melayu. He went further by insisting that 31st August 1957 was a ‘Hari Malapetaka’. Behind him can be seen a very famous university dropout giggling away. In another video, a famous old man was seen trying to give a speech, when he was educated by an ordinary Malaysian about the National Flag.

We shall enlighten our confused activists point by point.

The United States of America did not trick us into accepting the National Flag. Our National Flag was chosen through a competition, and that competition was won by a Malaysian. In a time where meritocracy is all the rage, shouldn’t such practices be encouraged?

What historical evidence has the hysterical man brought forward to prove that this flag is a heritage of Langkasuka? And even if it was, why does it matter? Langkasuka’s territory does not cover modern Malaysia’s territory. And Malaysia is not Langkasuka. The people of this land had chosen to be Malaysian, not Langkasukan. Why do you insist that we Malaysians fly the flag of a defunct kingdom?

The credibility of that man must be further questioned when it is revealed that his attribution of that flag to Langkasuka is factual error. Most historians agree that the business of putting red and white bands on flags came from Majapahit. Majapahit is an ancient kingdom, also not based in the territory of modern Malaysia, and currently defunct. Again, why does it even matter? This country is Malaysia, not Majapahit.

That man also claimed that this flag was raised by the ‘rakyat’ in 1947. We must correct this fallacy. That flag was raised by a segment of the rakyat, which do not represent the whole (or majority) of the Rakyat body. It was eventually not chosen by the people of this land to represent us. We have chosen the Flag with 14 stripes to fly over this land Malaysia. Why is our choice disrespected, by activists claiming to fight for democracy? Does democracy mean that the majority have to yield to a minority whose vision is coloured by personal grudges?

The 14 stripes of our National Flag represent the 14 states of Malaysia. In contrast, we are not sure what the 12 stars on Sang Saka Malaya represent. Either the activist wants 2 states eliminated from Malaysia, or they seriously have problems with arithmetic. Let’s hope it is the latter. That is a much less sinister situation.

Oh, wait. The activists said the flag is the flag of Tanah Melayu. They were not even thinking about Sabah and Sarawak, an integral part of this country Malaysia. We would like to remind the confused activists that as of 16th September 1963, the country called Tanah Melayu had ceased to exist, with the formation of Malaysia, which includes Sabah and Sarawak. We must live with present realities. We are Malaysians, not Malayans.

And 31st August 1957 is not a Hari Malapetaka. The real malapetaka for this country is that unfortunately, she had to accommodate that hysterical man as her citizen, for the principle of jus soli is in practice on her soil. It is unfortunate that such accidents of birth as this man could speak so disparagingly of our National Flag, on our home soil.

Many people are grumbling over the fact that a famous old man was taken in by police at night. We don’t see any problem with that arrest. That famous old man was energetic enough to stand by his red and white flag on the eve of Merdeka. So why can’t he spend another late night explaining his convictions to those who do not understand the merits of his antics? Shouldn’t we seize all opportunities to educate the less educated? (Assuming that the famous old man is a great intellectual compared to those arresting him). Anyway, if he feels sleepy, there is always coffee.

To Datuk A. Samad Said, we desperately want to respect you for your age and commitment towards those disenfranchised in society. However, your current behaviour makes that task an enormous challenge. How can we respect such persons whom had shown such hostility to our National Flag, the Flag we Malaysians had chosen? With age, ideally, comes wisdom. Please think wisely before you embark on your next public stunt. Take the path that is necessary, for us to continue to respect you. If you continue on this current path, we feel we are left with no choice, but to treat you as the boy you’ve become, rather than the man you were.

To Encik Hishamuddin Rais, we live in an age where everyone is striving towards true democracy, whatever that is. We understand that you have your own ideas on how this country should run. Being democratic is not only about free speech. Another, more important aspect of democracy is being respectful of the choices of others – especially if those ‘others’ form the majority and the choice they made do not harm anyone. We Malaysians have chosen the Jalur Gemilang as our Flag. Why should someone, whom by his own admittance, had never held down a permanent job, dictate to us that we must change our Flag? Perhaps you feel we Malaysians are not capable of thinking for ourselves. Such is how you regard and patronize us ordinary Malaysians. Such is your display of arrogance.

Your fight is with UMNO. Do not use your personal scruples with that party as an excuse to insult our country’s dignity. Malaysia and UMNO are two different entities. Do not confuse the two. If ever UMNO cease to govern this country, we still insist the Jalur Gemilang fly high.

To Encik Adam Adli, don’t waste your youth, as it is not forever. Go back to school and finish your studies. Finish something in your life. You have been distracted far too long. We care enough to caution you. We care more than the company you keep. We don’t want you, to one day wake up, in your 60s, and realizing you have achieved nothing, and have no prospects. You are salvageable, if you choose to be. And remember, everything must come at a price, whatever that price is. If it is free, it will be taken for granted. Ponder that.

To the man who defended our flag, thank you. To those who stood by doing nothing, shame on you.

Lastly, to those who are trying to gain political mileage through this issue, we are disgusted. You should not be emphasizing the political leanings of the hooligans to malign your political opponents. It is the unfortunate fate of that political entity to have these deluded individuals representing their image. The government, opposition, and the people of Malaysia as a whole, must put our foot down, and send a clear message:

We have chosen to be Malaysians. We are not Malayan. We are not Lankasukan. Respect our choice. Do not force that flag on us!


Remember the name, it's Ku Ali. In case you have forgotten already.

P.S. Click here here here here and here for his old ramblings. 
posted by Izham Ismail at 1:32 am | Permalink |