KUALA LUMPUR: It may seem as though the Hari Raya celebrations have overshadowed the Merdeka Day celebrations today.
However, the spirit of patriotism and pride in Malaysia’s progress since achieving independence 54 years ago, is in no way subdued despite appearances that may suggest otherwise.
Homes are flying the Jalur Gemilang high and proud — among which is George Fernandez’s apartment in Razak Mansion, Sungai Besi.
The 47-year old Une Petite head chef has, without fail, been decorating his home every Merdeka for the last 15 years, and increasing his collection of the flags by the year.
“This year, I have put up 14 standard size flags and about 20 sets of buntings. I’m in the midst of putting up a flag huge enough to cover my home,” he said.
Fernandez spent RM700 on flags this year. “Next year I will spend a bigger amount because it will be our country’s 55th year of independence,” he said.
Fernandez also distributes the Jalur Gemilang to his neighbours. In the past one month, he has given out 50 flags. The chef even buys the poles for the flags and goes to the extent of putting up the flags for them.
At SK Pusat Bandar Puchong 2, the pupils in 5 Delima have been learning their lessons surrounded by bright reminders of the country’s proudest day since the beginning of the month.
Rows of buntings of the Jalur Gemilang hang above, mini flags fly on each of their desks as well as around the blackboard.
Class teacher Su Kim Yuen said many of the flags were donated by the pupils’ parents. The class also spent RM30 to buy more flags.