Perak Bersatu calls to strip Country Heights founder of ‘Tan Sri’ title for changing national flag colours

According to reports Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew admitted asking an artist to make the colour change on his behalf, to ‘express his feelings’ over the introduction of khat in vernacular primary schools starting next year. ― Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali
According to reports Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew admitted asking an artist to make the colour change on his behalf, to ‘express his feelings’ over the introduction of khat in vernacular primary schools starting next year. ― Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali

IPOH, Aug 9 — Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew should have his federal title revoked for dishonouring the national flag by changing its white stripes to black in a recent online post, Perak Bersatu Youth chief Mohd Hafez Mubin Mohd Salleh demanded today, despite the tycoon’s apology.

The politician said the apology was insufficient as people’s feelings have been hurt by his virtual vandalism of the Jalur Gemilang, pointing out that August also marks the anniversary of Merdeka.

“His reasons for turning the white stripes on the flag to black as a sign to protest against the implementation of khat writing in Chinese and Tamil National schools are completely unforgivable.

“As a reputed businessman, who has accomplished a great wealth due to the prosperity and peace of a multi-racial nation, Lee should be matured when voicing out his views on any issue,” Hafez Mubin said in a statement.

He said revoking the federal title would serve as an example and a lesson to those who insult the country’s symbol of sovereignty.

Several news outlets reported Lee posting an apology on his Facebook page after uploading a picture of the flag with its white stripes coloured in black on his blog.

According to the news reports, Lee, the founder and executive chairman of property developer Country Heights Holdings Bhd, admitted asking an artist to make the colour change on his behalf, to “express his feelings” over the introduction of khat — Arabic calligraphy — in vernacular primary schools starting next year.

The altered image, which has since been removed, was uploaded along with a post by Lee highlighting his recent blog entry on the inclusion of khat writing lessons in Bahasa Malaysia textbooks for Year 4 students.

He further advised the younger generation to avoid the mistake of people like him, from the “old generation”.

Lee’s Facebook account appears to have been deactivated.

Hafez Mubin stressed that any views or opinions on the implementation of khat policy must be rational and based on facts rather than mere emotions.

“The actions of certain individuals to use this issue for the sake of personal and political agendas by playing racial sentiments are superficial and irresponsible acts that can harm the racial and religious harmony in the country,” he added.

Education Minister Maszlee Malik announced yesterday that classes for khat will proceed as scheduled but vernacular school teachers now have greater leeway in lessons and fewer pages in the textbook, following a unanimous Cabinet decision on the matter.