In early September 2012, there was a minor furor over an alleged proposal by the Opposition to change the Malaysian flag. Aeshah Adlina Karim wrote that one of the Opposition politicians posted on his Facebook page that the current flag looks too much like the one of the government coalition, and that the new proposed flag looks a lot similar to the ones of Singapore and Indonesia.
The fact that they are going to make the new flag Malaysia’s flag when PR (Pakatan Rakyat, the Opposition coalition) gain control of Malaysia, do they mean to make Malaysia a republic because both Indonesia and Singapore are republics.
Sicfallacy thought it was a disgraceful action, especially given that the news broke during the Independence Day celebrations:
Merdeka should be about unity. We, as a countrymen should stand together and fight for our country. But this year's Merdeka celebration, we cannot even agree on Merdeka theme, we cannot even sit together celebrating our birth of Nation. Divided with two themes, with two logos and even with two different flags.
Yes, our National flag is somewhat similar to US flag. But that doesn't give you any right to proudly mocking our flag, on a very important Merdeka night! Who do you think you are to do that? Such a disgrace to the country. Liberian flag also resemble that US flag, but can you saw any of Liberian people loath their flag on their Independence celebration?
I think this is exactly what will happen in Malaysia, if PR (Pakatan Rakyat, the Opposition) win the next GE13. PR looks like want to change, not only government (Cabinet) but also Malaysia's identity. New flag, new anthem, and new name maybe?
Syed Akbar Ali also voiced discontent on the issue:
Well folks look at these pictures. I see retards who have parked their motorbikes somewhere. The first picture shows Pakatan Rakyat supporters unfurling a different flag which (by the looks of it) they want to replace our national flag. So they want to change the Malaysian flag too.
What about the National Anthem? If they change the flag, why not change the National Anthem as well? It is kind of old and some may say boring. Maybe they can get Namewee to craft a new National Anthem.
And why stop at the flag or the National Anthem. What about changing the name of the country?
What about Greater Malayalam? Or maybe Greater Nanyang? Greater Tamil Eelam? Southern Hindustan? Singapore North? Northport Singapore? Here is a more uptodate name – ‘Greater Bangsar'. Maybe ‘Greater Damansara'. Peninsula.com?
A prominent Opposition politician, Lim Kit Siang, refuted the allegations in his blog:
When the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday personally led three senior UMNO Ministers to attack the Pakatan Rakyat with the canard that PR wanted to replace the national flag Jalur Gemilang, it was more than anything else a reflection of their sense of desperation about UMNO/Barisan Nasional prospects in the impending 13th General Election than respect for the truth.
The change of the national flag is never a Pakatan Rakyat agenda and has never been discussed or raised in any Pakatan Rakyat meeting. But these attacks were clearly cooked up by the UMNO/BN dirty tricks department, for there is no truth whatsoever in the allegations that the PR wanted to change the national flag or to abolish the system of constitutional monarchy.
Pakatan Rakyat, through its various policy pronouncements, including the Pakatan Rakyat Common Policy Framework in December 2009 and the Buku Jingga on December 2010, had reiterated the PR’s commitment to uphold the fundamental features in the Malaysian Constitution, in particular “to defend the role and responsibility of the institution of Constitutional Monarchy”.
It is the height of irresponsibility for the Prime Minister and senior Umno Ministers to spearhead the Umno/BN dirty tricks department’s campaign of lies and falsehoods against PR as when the four UMNO Ministers repeated the canards that PR wanted to change the national flag and to turn Malaysia into a republic.