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ALOR STAR: The Pas-led Kedah government is adamant about keeping its TerusBerbakti (Continuing to Serve) theme for the National Day celebrations, but will tag on Pakatan Rakyat’s Sebangsa, Sejiwa, Senegara (One Nation, One Soul, One Country) theme, bowing to pressure from its allies in the loose coalition.
State Information Committee chairman Abd Ghani Ahmad insisted that Kedah had launched its National Day theme earlier, and it was not appropriate to withdraw the decision.
"The Kedah theme was agreed upon at an executive council meeting on July 17."
The Pakatan Rakyat secretariat had on Aug 1 agreed to a common National Day theme for all states under Pakatan Rakyat, but Kedah refused to abide by this.
Pas secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali said Kedah was the last to adopt the PR theme following a meeting yesterday.
Earlier, a Kedah Menteri Besar's Office spokesman said state departments and buildings would display banners and posters carrying only the state's theme.
"We will not allow banners and posters with the Federal Government's Janji Ditepati (Promises Fulfilled) theme to be put up on state-owned buildings.
"But they (Janji DiTepati banners or posters) can be displayed on federal-owned properties and buildings.
"We also have no problems if commercial outlets and private properties prefer banners carrying the federal theme."
Ghani had said he was confident Kedah Pas' decision would not create trouble with other opposition states and in Pakatan Rakyat since the whole idea was to pick a theme different from that of Barisan Nasional.
Pas secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali announced on Tuesday that besides Kedah, Kelantan would also have its own theme.
Kelantan will adopt the Menerajui Perubahan (Spearheading Change) theme while Penang and Selangor were the only states adhering to PR's choice.
In Shah Alam, Umno information chief Datuk Ahmad Maslan said the three themes proved the opposition could not even agree on small matters.
He said "this showed the three opposition parties sleep on the same pillow but have different dreams".
In Kuala Lumpur, Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the opposition had run out of ideas and were pinching from the work of the BN government.
He said the opposition parties had used themes derived from the Information Department's booklets on unity published in 2009.
"They are desperate and bankrupt of ideas. They are also envious of the success and the fulfilled promises of the Federal Government.
"So they just pinch whatever the Information Department has done and promote it as their own idea," he told Bernama here.
MCA Youth chairman Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said it was ironic how Pakatan came up with the Sebangsa, Sejiwa, Senegara theme, when four states under Pakatan rule had four themes.
"They sit side by side in a press conference behaving as though they have a common agenda and goal, yet they cannot even agree on a National Day theme.
"This ridicules the sanctity of this historical and significant celebration and the contributions of our founding fathers, who had set aside ethnic differences for a common purpose to secure independence without bloodshed."
Kedah Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang said yesterday it was a pity the opposition partners had failed to agree on a common theme.
"It's the first time in history we have four themes for Merdeka Day.
"They (opposition) can't even agree on a theme. Merdeka Day is an event to unite the people and not confuse them with different themes."