PUTRAJAYA - Malaysians may be saddened by the MH17 and MH370 tragedies but the spirit of patriotism must prevail to protect the country's sovereignty, says the Prime Minister.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak urged all Malaysians to fly the Jalur Gemilang during the month of Merdeka.
"This is the greatness of Malaysians, who are ready to be united in the face of challenges through good and bad times," he said when launching a nationwide campaign to fly the national flag.
"If we do not fly the Jalur Gemilang, it does not mean that we are less patriotic," he pointed out.
"But if we put up the Jalur Gemilang, its meaning is greater because the patriotic spirit cannot be contained and must be expressed to show the spirit of Malaysians who are willing to fight (for its sovereignty)," he said, adding that the flag was, among others, a symbol of Malaysians' solidarity and unity.
"It is the symbol of our pride, dignity, and a national identity."
Fly the Jalur Gemilang: Najib, his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Chief Justice Tun Ariffin Zakaria and other Cabinet ministers waving the national flag at the launch of the fly the Jalur Gemilang campaign in Putrajaya.
At the ceremony, Najib, his Cabinet ministers and their deputies were decked in white or grey tops. A moment of silence was observed in respect of the victims of the plane tragedies.
After handing over the flags to representatives of several government agencies and non-governmental organisations, Najib joined a crowd of more than a thousand in singing the Jalur Gemilang song.
Najib also flagged off a 4WD convoy, all the vehicles decked up with the national flag, that would travel all over the country to promote the campaign until Sept 16, when the Malaysia Day is commemorated.
"I hope together we will fly the Jalur Gemilang at home, at the workplace and on our vehicles to show our full love for the nation, for peace and for a bright future ahead, which we will attain together.
"This year's Merdeka theme, Disini Lahirnya Sebuah Cinta, (Malaysia: Here Lies a Love) is most apt because this love is the foundation on which we will achieve an advanced nation status," said Najib.
"Merdeka does not only mean that we are free from invaders but that we, as a country, can be independent and not be reliant on others and our ability to chart our destiny," he added.