Malaysian businessman's S$6,643 rice effort for National Day turning heads

eautiful and creative: Kandapan, wearing his Malaysian flag outfit, adding the finishing touches to his Merdeka kolam with help from his family members. Beside him is Vidyanathan.

PASIR GUDANG - A kolam depicting the map of Malaysia, Jalur Gemilang and a hibiscus has been created at a house here using 15kg of rice to mark National Day.

Businessman M. Kandapan, 55, opted for the traditional Indian art to express his patriotism.

The kolam at his front porch also featured this year's theme Sehati, Sejiwa (One Heart, One Soul).

He said it took him about two weeks to complete the kolam.

"Besides the kolam, I also spent about RM1,000 (S$332) to make Jalur Gemilang baju kurung, shirts and pants for my family, including my wife, five children, three sons-in law and three grandsons."

Kandapan also adorned his house, cars, motorcycles and a bicycle in Bandar Seri Alam here with hundreds of miniature and large national flags.

He said he did not mind spending over RM20,000 on his efforts that included painting his house and roof red, blue and white.

Since Aug 1, he also put up flags of all the states in the country and that of Johor districts.

He said he had been doing this for more than 13 years and that passers-by always greeted him when they saw these.

Sometimes, he said motorists passing their house would even get out of their cars to take pictures of the decorations.

State Unity and Human Resources committee chairman R. Vidyanathan, who visited Kandapan's house, said he encouraged such efforts. He added that this was among the ways to enhance the spirit of patriotism, especially among youngsters.