Communications Ministry Orders Last-Minute Ban On 'Merdeka' And '58' From Ads
The matter came into public attention when a local online portal posted a screenshot of an e-mail from the Communications and Multimedia Ministry to media and brands.
The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) has apparently instructed media and brands to remove and refrain from using the words 'Merdeka' and '58' in advertisements
According to a screenshot of an e-mail by a ministry official, the ministry has allegedly issued directives prohibiting the mention of '58 years' or '58th' as well as the use of 'Independence', 'Kemerdekaan', or 'Merdeka', which can only be replaced by 'Happy National Day' or 'Selamat Hari Kebangsaan'
Some are of the opinion that the 'rules' are being implemented to mitigate the sentiments of East Malaysia, as Sabah and Sarawak did not achieve independence in 1957 alongside Malaya (as it is known at the time)
A quick check on KKMM's Jabatan Hal Ehwal Khas (JASA) and 31 Ogos website bears no mention of the words 'Merdeka' or '58', only 'Hari Kebangsaan' and 'Hari Malaysia'
Anyway, PM Najib Razak still refers to it as "Hari Kemerdekaan" in a recent tweet questioning Bersih organisers' motives:
The Bersih 4 rally will be held in the two days before National Day (29 and 30 August) in KL and cities all over Malaysia and the world: