Following a raging debate among Malaysian netizens over the theme and official logo for this year's National Day celebrations, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang has called on prime minister Najib Razak to convene an emergency cabinet meeting to come out with a new theme and logo.
"If the National Day logo and theme are not changed, both will become laughing stocks for Malaysians and the world by the time of Merdeka Day on August 31 and Malaysia Day on Sept. 16," Lim said in a statement obtained by Harakahdaily.
The theme for National Day next month is 'Janji Ditepati' (Promises Fulfilled), the slogan used for the Barisan Nasional government's Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia as well as for tours and gatherings by top UMNO leaders.
The logo (pic) for the celebrations meanwhile drew flak not only for its mediocre design but also for not going through the normal process of having a logo designing competition open to public. Instead, the government came out with a design incorporating the symbol of Najib's political slogan '1Malaysia' accompanied by several other images.
Lim however described the logo as "ghastly" and "horrendous", while slamming the theme as "divisive".
He questioned if Najib was "so desperate about his electoral prospects" that the Merdeka celebrations had to be hijacked with politically charged slogans.
"It is sad and shocking that this year’s National Day/Malaysia Day are no more conceived as national celebrations as they have been hijacked by UMNO/BN, blatantly using the UMNO/BN slogan which will divide rather than unite Malaysians, and yet nobody in Cabinet or government could see that this is just wrong and anti-national," he added.
Lim contrasted the government's way of handling the selection of the Merdeka logo and theme with how former Information minister Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir , who was chairman for Merdeka celebrations, would call for opposition leaders' participation.
"I can confirm that when Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir was the Information Minister and chairman for Merdeka celebrations, he took pains to invite Opposition leaders to participate by ensuring that the celebrations were truly national events, rising above political parties."
Earlier, PAS vice president Mahfuz Omar warned that Malaysians may opt to skip Merdeka celebrations this year to protest the choice of BN's political slogan as the official theme.