Skip to main content

When they used scissors and tape to fly flag at half mast

As published in Malay Mail today.

452570642 (1)

PETALING JAYA – It was a parade that won the admiration of many.
Not only was the Jalur Gemilang flown at half-mast but six athletes and two officials donned Malaysia Airlines (MAS) cabin crew uniforms as they marched in front of a roaring crowd, winning the hearts of those in the stadium and the millions watching from their homes.
As national cyclist Fatehah Mustapa, the flagbearer, led the national contingent at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games in Celtic Park yesterday, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaludin could only smile.
He was, after all, the man who engineered the need for the Malaysian team to pay tribute to the 298 lives lost in the Flight MH17 tragedy.
“It was the night we found out about the plane. By the time we learnt it was shot down, I knew we had to do something in Glasgow,” revealed Khairy.
“I thought about black armbands, which we also used, and felt it wasn’t enough. So I thought why not MAS crew uniform.”
The initial plan was to get every athlete and official participating in the parade to wear the cabin crew uniform instead of the recently designed national jersey.
“But I thought it was not practical and may lose its touch. So I asked for the front row of athletes to wear them.
“Fatehah was supposed to wear it (the MAS uniform) too but we had limited sizes.”
Six athletes -- Ju Pha Som Net (cycling), Surizan Awang Noh and Fatin Syafiqah Mohd Sukri (womens hockey), Nur Fidrah Noh and Fairoz Abd Jabal (lawn bowls) and Farizal Ismail (rugby) -- and two officials, rugby team manager Mohamad Fahmy Abdul Jalil and National Sports Council media officer Fahmi Omar wore the uniforms in honour of the victims.
The idea, however, did not go down too well with the secretariat as another airliner Emirates is the official partner of the Games and the official airline of the Queen’s baton relay.
“They (secretariat) were iffy about it but I told our chef-de-mission Datuk Ong Poh Eng to just do it. The secretariat didn’t allow Fatehah to carry the flag at half-mast but the team brought scissors and tape and when they were handed the flag just outside the stadium before the march-in, they lowered it.”
“So a bit of work went on behind the scenes to get it all done but it came off well.”
Khairy said he appreciated MAS chairman Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof’s support as he approved and lent the uniforms to the contingent and sent them to Glasgow.
And the effort paid off handsomely as the emotional pictures went viral online and is splashed on the front page of Malay Mail today – a fitting tribute by our national heroes to all those who perished in the unfortunate incident on July17.


Popular posts from this blog

What went wrong with KL SEA Games?

145 gold medals.
It's the best Team Malaysia has ever achieved since the inception of the SEAP Games in1959.
The 29th edition of the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur ended yesterday. The opening ceremony dazzled those at the stands and viewers at home while the performances during the closing ceremony yesterday jogged plenty of musical memories to many.
Our athletes, the real superheroes, brought smiles through their heroic display. They made everyday a happy day.
Kudos to the officials - from the coaches, the National Sports Institute and National Sports Council - for their hard work in ensuring our athletes perform to their best.
But it was not all memorable.

'World fashion disaster' in KL

World Fashion Week Asia 2017 ended over the weekend.

And the launch on Friday at Palace of the Golden Horses at Mines Resort City just outside Kuala Lumpur turned out to be a forgettable night.


It was poorly organised.

Just as many are trying to get over the nightmare witnessed throughout the KL SEA Games, the organiser of World Fashion Week Asia 2017 has made it look like Malaysians seem to have lost it when it comes to hosting major events and hospitality.

Here's why.

Royal protocol ignored

1. The Sultanah of Terengganu Sultanah Nur Zahirah was invited to grace the event.
    a. There was no holding room for the Sultanah and VIPs accompanying her.
    b. The Sultanah was invited on stage without anyone accompanying her there (a big NO NO if anyone knows protocol involving royalty).
    c. The event dragged on till 11.30pm, way past the cut off point of the very many events I've attended with members of the royal family present.
   d. The Sultanah was forced to walk all t…

Klang run 'illegal', says Sports Commissioner

UPDATE (Dec 11; 11.58am): Sporting events approved by Sports Commissioner's Office will be posted on the Youth and Sports Ministry's website starting Dec 14, as revealed by the Sports Commissioner in her statement today. I'm glad the last point of my observation (as per posting right below) has been addressed.


UPDATE (10.57pm): A Twitter user had sent me a link by the organiser of the Klang Heritage Marathon 2017. It states that the marathon has been "postponed to Oct 14, 2018" and that they have been victims of fake news and will lodge reports with the authorities against materials with elements of defamation or fake news. Read the full statement, posted on Dec 2, here.


A Klang City International Marathon 2017 pacer suffered serious injuries after she and two others were hit by a car

Turns out that the organiser of this morning's event, Earth Runners International Group Sdn Bhd, DID NOT submit any application to the Sports Commissioner&#…