On Saturday, 28 September, a Facebook user shared a video of a group of people refusing to stand up while 'Negaraku' played in the background
Netizens are criticising the group for being arrogant and disrespectful
Minister of Youth and Sports Syed Saddiq Abd Rahman tweeted, "Because 'Negaraku' belongs to all Malaysians. This is not a question of 'Malaya' or 'Sarawak'. But it is a symbol of our unity, Malaysia. Stop dividing us."
Another Twitter user wrote, "That's disrespectful of them. Again, a tree does not represent the forest. These are disrespectful Malaysians. Leave the racial stereotypes out of it."
"So rude. I'm disappointed with their behavior. Are they embarrassed to be Malaysians?" said a netizen.
The people in the video have since been identified as members of the pressure group Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S)
S4S member Shaow Tung Leong told FMT that it was a silent protest to show their dissatisfaction over unfulfilled promises to the state.
He claimed that Malaya had been very unfair to Sarawak and Sarawakians.
The former news reporter and editor also said that the state's resources, particularly oil and gas, had been exploited since the formation of Malaysia in 1963.
He said, "So why should we stand up when the national anthem is played?"
Following the incident, Bukit Aman has released a statement saying that disrespecting 'Negaraku' is considered an offence under the National Anthem Act 1968
Malaysiakini reported that Bukit Aman CID prosecution and legal division principal assistant director Mior Faridalathrash Wahid said that individuals who show disrespect towards the national anthem could be arrested.
Under the Act, offenders can be fined not more than RM100 or imprisoned for a period not exceeding one month.
According to The Borneo Post, a police report had been lodged and an investigation has commenced under Section 8 (3) of the National Anthem Act 1968.