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.

Cover image via TimeOut Kuala Lumpur

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

Image via Imgur

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'

Image via Cilisos

Online portal Cilisos, who first brought this matter to public attention, reiterated that they have received confirmation of this directive from 3 separate media sources.

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:

If you're going to Bersih this weekend, make sure you are adequately prepared to navigate through the 34-hour rally:

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