Second 1992 version of Negaraku should be dropped and original national anthem played from August 31 during 46th National Day, while no third version of national anthem should be adopted without a proper national mandate, including a parliamentary debate and vote
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Thursday): It is most regrettable that there has been no news after the Cabinet meeting yesterday on the status of the proposed third version of the national anthem in 46 years.
Malaysians are entitled to be told as to why the government is tinkering with the third version of the national anthem without a proper national consultation or mandate.
The Cabinet should give the nation an assurance that Malaysians would not be presented with a fait accompli on National Day on August 31 with a third version of the national anthem imposed on the people and decided by a handful of people, violating all notions of democracy and the principles of Rukunegara.
Eleven years after the arbitrary, ill-considered and unauthorized change of the national anthem in 1992 to a marching rhythm, the government has unofficially conceded that it was a big flop, as it failed to “invoke the patriotic passion” because of the loss of the “essence of the national identity” – which is fully agreed by Malaysians as the second version of the national anthem, according to one critic, “fails to arouse the kind of zeal normally associated with an anthem”.
Any change of the national anthem is a serious national decision which must not be rushed or decided hastily a few hours or days before the National Day, but must be the subject of months of extensive and comprehensive national deliberation in keeping with its national importance and capability to encapsulate the “national soul”.
For this reason, DAP calls on the Cabinet next week to take the decision that the third version of national anthem should not be adopted or played at the 46th National Day on August 31 without a proper national mandate, including a parliamentary debate and vote, and to drop the second version of the national anthem adopted in 1992 and to restore the original Negaraku national anthem which should be played from the 46th National Day on August 31 onwards.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman