Sunday August 19, 2012
Some in Merdeka mood while others busy preparing for Aidilfitri
KUCHING: The Jalur Gemilang can be seen flying high at numerous buildings around the city, with Merdeka Day fast approaching.
However, as many are in the Hari Raya Aidilfitri mood, the usual sight of homes and vehicles adorned with miniature national flags have yet to make an appearance.
“It’s a bit too early. I am now concentrating on preparing for Hari Raya. I usually put up the flags on my motorcycle and house as Merdeka comes closer,” said Mohd Syahrizan, who was doing some last-minute shopping at the India Street bazaar.
But there are those who are already in the Merdeka spirit.
Ferryman Abdullah Johari has already decorated his perahu tambang with both the national and state flags for the past three days. He takes pride in putting them up every year.
“It is something I must get done every single year. If not, it feels like there is something missing,” said the 44-year-old.
“I find the largest flag that will fit nicely on my perahu tambang as well as a couple of smaller ones to hang around it. And then I make the poles by hand.
“It makes me proud to see it flying atop my perahu tambang as I make my way across both sides of the river,” he said with a smile.
“Some of my passengers also gave their feedback, saying that I am one of the earliest to fly the national flag while most are in the Raya mood.
“To me, both are equally important. It is simply a matter of patriotism, for me,” enthused Johari.
At the busy India Street bazaar where shoppers were doing their last-minute Raya shopping, only one jewellery shop was seen proudly displaying the national and state flags while others furnished their stores with the latest goods and bargains.
“We do this every year, so it has become a tradition for us,” said Ai Poh Goldsmith proprietor Lee Yuk Chin.
“I know it’s a bit early, but it is Merdeka month you know? It won’t feel right without at least flying the national flag,” he said.
Many government buildings and educational institutions are already flying the Jalur Gemilang for the upcoming Merdeka celebration, but for now, homes and businesses are fully enjoying the Raya mood while it lasts.