How Gardens Mall Butchered Our Malaysian Flags and Got Away With It?

There I was standing at the West Entrance of Gardens Mall waiting for my uber ride who decided to miss a turn and was making his way round the mall to get to me. 

I idled for a while before planting my bottom down at the nearest support next to Fresco and let my gaze wandered. 

That's when I moved my sight upward and saw this. 
5 Malaysian flags (plus minus) hanging at an awkward angle in equal distance apart. 

But wait, only it wasn't an awkward angle, the flags seemed to have been cut (to fit the shape of the roof, no doubt). 

I squinted just to make sure it wasn't the actual design of the flags.
Nope. It was cut alright. The edges looked stringy and unrefined. 

Is this illegal?
"It has to be illegal?" I heard myself say. 

Only that, it is not. 

A quick search showed that while there is an extensive guideline on how to treat, display and care for our flags (here's a 30-page data and guidelines on our Jalur Gemilang, aka flag of Malaysia), there is no law against defiling/burning/cutting our national flags. 

Guidelines aren't laws. 

According to CILISOS lawyer Fahri Azzat in regards to the incidents where 9 Australians wore Malaysia flag underpants in public
"There is no specific offence of flag burning per se. I imagine they would have to rely on a more general law like Section 504." - Fahri Azzat. 
(Section 504 - Intentionally insulting or provoking someone to break the public peace. Punishment is up to 2 years and/or a fine.)

So while you can get arrested for not standing up when the National Anthem is played (under the National Anthem Act), you can get away with burning the Malaysian flags. 

"This can't be right."
"There must be some consequences. "
I heard you say.  

Yes well, it is deemed highly disrespectful. 
But you're not against the law. 

So Gardens Mall might just be able to get away with ripping our National Flags to create a better architectural visual flow. 

What do you think? Is this acceptable? Or do you think it's time we change our law? 


2 kissed Nicole

  1. Well, you can make jalur gemilang into shapes(banner, coaster etc).... But cutting from a flag (orginate) its kinda,.... in borderline of debate. I believe the management did get some kind consult from their lawyer(hopefully) before doing it... It's kinda fine grey area they manage to get away with.

  2. The raising of the flag is to show honour to the country. Though it is a grey area... the Mall management should be more tactful. Unless the artist/visual artist is crazy mad