Penang to scrap 'bersih' National Day slogan after armed forces pulls out from celebration

GEORGE TOWN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's state of Penang will not be using the slogan "Bersih, Cekap dan Amanah" (Clean, Efficient and Trustworthy) for its state-level Merdeka celebrations and will follow the slogan used nationwide instead, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Mr Lim said on Monday (Aug 24) that the decision was made following a state executive committee meeting, where the use of the slogan was reconsidered due to the withdrawal of the Armed Forces from the celebration.

"The Armed Forces' salute to Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas is a tradition during Merdeka Day and should be maintained as such.

"We reluctantly retract the theme and will be using the same federal government theme of "Sehati, Sejiwa" (One heart, One soul)," he said at a press conference at Komtar.

It was reported that the armed forces, in a statement, said the federal government's slogan must be supported by all.

"The state's 'Bersih, Cekap, Amanah' theme is not in line with the spirit of the Merdeka Day celebration this year,' it said.

On Wednesday, Penang Education director Osman Hussain issued a directive barring schools in the state from joining the state-level Merdeka Day celebration.

This followed a directive from the federal government for the students not to take part because of Penang's chosen theme.