Sunday, September 26, 2021

Merdeka spirit soars over pandemic shadow

The Jalur Gemilang continues to fly despite Malaysia marking its second Merdeka Day under Covid-19 restrictions.

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Residents at the Taman Industri Lembah Jaya flats in Lembah Jaya, Ampang, put up Malaysian flags along the road in honour of Merdeka Day.

A man waves a Malaysian flag inside the flat area, where individual units have also been hung with flags.

Even the roof is decked out with flags, as residents enjoy the breathtaking view of the capital city while tying each flag securely in place.

Down on the ground, residents at the Sri Melaka flats hang strings of smaller flags around the area, lending the apartment blocs a festive atmosphere.

It’s a job for two at the very least, as one by one the strings of flags go up.

By the end of the day, the flats have been transformed into a riot of red, blue, yellow and white – the colours of the Jalur Gemilang.

The blue of the flag represents the unity of Malaysia’s many races while the crescent moon and stars represent Islam as the official religion. The 14 points of the star represent the 13 states and the federal territories, yellow represents the Malay rulers, red represents bravery, white represents purity while the red and white stripes stand for Malaysia’s states and federal territories.

A health worker holds up a syringe of Covid-19 vaccine against a Jalur Gemilang backdrop. This year marks the second time that Merdeka celebrations have been held under the shadow of the pandemic.

Health workers toil for hours, administering dose after dose of vaccine in the race to inoculate as many as possible against the deadly virus.

A woman stands at her vegetable patch in Kampung Baru Ampang. Even this small plot has been festooned with flags as part of the Merdeka celebrations.

Small flags flutter overhead as an old woman bends to check on her plants, some catching tiny droplets from the man’s watering can.

Others perform various chores such as wedding, enjoying the atmosphere brought by the flags.

An e-hailing rider carefully fastens a small Malaysian flag to the front of his motorcycle, where it will ripple and wave as he drives.

This motorcyclist has gone all out, covering nearly every inch of himself and his bike with the Malaysian flag.

A woman chases after her children as they run past a row of flags fluttering in the breeze at Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur.

More flags adorn the walls of buildings around the capital city, greeting passers-by.

A child and her father enjoy some Medeka-themed arts and craft activities at the Sri Melaka flats in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.

Even simple craft activities such as this are enough to remind them of the importance of the occasion.

A girl holding a small Malaysian flag smiles as another is carefully painted on her cheek in honour of the day.

A man adjusts his face mask as he walks past a row of flags, a stark reminder of the pandemic’s continued presence in the country.

Restaurant workers hang a flag outside their shop at Brickfields in Kuala Lumpur.

They work together, taking pains to hang the flag straight over the entrance where it will greet customers on their way in and out of the restaurant.

The Pintasan Saloma bridge which connects Kampung Baru and Jalan Ampang in Kuala Lumpur lights up in a design patterned after the Jalur Gemilang.

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