MOHD Salleh adjusts Jalur Gemilang he puts up in front of his house at Kampung Pinang, Alor Setar, yesterday. Photo: Bernama

ALOR SETAR: Many will be disheartened after several Jalur Gemilang (national flag) he hoisted in front of his house were stolen but not for Mohd Salled Mat Lazim from Kampung Pinang, Simpang Empat, here, as the incidents only fuelled his determination to fly more flags to celebrate the National Month.

MOHD Salleh adjusts Jalur Gemilang he puts up in front of his house at Kampung Pinang, Alor Setar, yesterday. Photo: Bernama

Mohd Salleh, 49, a paddy farmer, said despite the losses incurred when the flags were stolen, he continued to decorate his home with the Jalur Gemilang to answer the government’s call. “Thus far I have spent about RM300 from my own pocket to buy 350 flags and half of them have been installed in front of the house and along the Wan Mat Saman canal since Aug 1.

“The cost did not include buying ropes and paying village youth to help me cut the bamboo, and yet there were people who came to steal the flags at night until I incurred losses as all the flags bought using my own money without help of any party,” he said when met by Bernama here. He said it was part of his family tradition for the past 15 years to decorate their house and its compound with Jalur Gemilang to express their love of the country. He said it was his small way of inviting fellow Malaysians to fly the Jalur Gemilang at their premises and homes in recognition of the struggles of those in the early years to liberate the country from colonial power.

“Every August I can’t sit still and would cry when I remember what my grandmother told me of her hard life and struggles as she was enlisted as forced labourer and had almost been stabbed to death by the Japanese military and had lived poorly,” said the father of five.

Mohd Salleh and his children have also planned to build an arch decorated with the national flags at the entrance of the house. It that’s not enough, he also planned to construct a small boat to be decorated with the Jalur Gemilang in the Wan Mat Saman canal and hoped it would be the landmark of the National Month celebration in the area. “If there is help in the form of flags from certain parties, I would also like to install the Jalur Gemilang along the canal as the canal has historical value for Kedah,” he said. – Bernama