A video of a class of primary school students singing the national anthem Negaraku in Mandarin went viral over the weekend. It received criticisms for disrespecting the national anthem.
Although the language was changed, the meaning of the lyrics remained the same.
It was later revealed that vernacular schoolteachers are using the Mandarin version of Negaraku to help their students understand the anthem better.
UMNO Seputeh Youth chief Wan Agyl Wan Hassan tweeted that there is a problem in Malaysia’s education system if the students in vernacular schools are having difficulties in understanding Negaraku in Bahasa Malaysia.
He urged a reform on vernacular schools. It has been an ongoing issue that several Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) and vernacular school students have a weak command of the national language.
In April, when the UEC issue was a hot topic, politicians and organisations urged the government to make ‘Bahasa Malaysia’ and ‘History’ as compulsory subjects to pass if they decided to recognise UEC in public universities.
However, this is not the first time that Negaraku made headlines for the wrong reason in recent times.
At the end of September, the month of Malaysia Day, individuals from activist group Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S) refused to stand up when Negaraku was playing during a charity dinner event.
They decided not to stand up to protest the unfair treatment by the federal government, particularly on the issue of oil royalty.
S4S spokesperson Alex Leong claimed that Negaraku is the national anthem of Malaya, instead of Malaysia.
On the other hand, there was also the issue of upside-down Jalur Gemilang during the months of Merdeka and Malaysia Day.
Plus, Malaysia Basketball Association (MABA) decided to showcase its own rendition of Jalur Gemilang during a basketball tournament in November.
By taking the national anthem and flag for granted, are Malaysians becoming less patriotic? Or are these just isolated incidents that have been blown out of proportion?