By Steven Sim Chee Keong
I am disappointed by the arrest of Sasterawan Negara (National Laurate) A Samad Said or more fondly known as Pak Samad on 3 September following the arrest of two other activists, Hishammudin Rais and Adam Adli a day before him.
The reason for the arrests was that the trio raised the “Bendera Sang Saka Malaya” on the eve of National Day at Dataran Merdeka.
This is not the first time police acted upon such excuse. Last year, a blogger was also investigated for raising the “Bendera Sang Saka Malaya”.
Bendera Sang Saka Malaya, is the flag of Malaya (Tanah Melayu) proposed by the independence movement AMCJA-PUTERA which consisted of prominent figures who struggled for our country’s freedom from colonial rule, some even way before any leaders from UMNO or Parti Perikatan.
Hence, to intimidate a well-respected Malay figure such as Pak Samad and the other activists just because they were commemorating a part of our country’s history of independence struggle is a despicable act of historical revisionism by the ruling regime, Barisan Nasional.
Historical revisionism refers to the distortion of historical facts to give a false account of what actually happened. Such act is usually done by regimes trying to pervert history for the sake of their own political interests.
One other example of recent historical revisionism is the film Tanda Putera, which received funding from the government to show a distorted version of history from the narrow political perspective of UMNO-Barisan Nasional.
Hence, I urge the Barisan Nasional government to quit spreading its political propaganda through historical revisionism, including in the subject of Sejarah (History) in schools. The government should not manipulate history as a political tool to ensure the survival of the ruling party. And finally, I also urge that all the above charges on Pak Samad, Hishammudin Rais and Adam Adli be dropped immediately.