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Malaysia laments big firms' apathy towards N-Day

17/8/2001 8:20 am Fri

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Malaysia-Celebration /WRD/

Malaysia laments big firms' apathy towards N-Day

Kuala Lumpur, Aug 15, IRNA -- The Malaysian government is unhappy that some large corporations are neither contributing nor supporting the Merdeka celebrations despite making huge annual profits.

"The government does not want a single sen, but we hope that these corporations can at least give back to the people what they have earned so far," said Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, the Culture, Arts and Tourism Minister.

Malaysia will celebrate its 44th National Day on Aug 31. Malaysian has gained independent from Britain in 1957.

Kadir said some corporations were still miserly, but hoped that these companies would be able to contribute indirectly to the celebrations by sponsoring smaller companies.

He did not reveal the names of companies which had failed to make contributions, but said that he would provide a list to the Cabinet.

However, the government would not implement rules to force companies to contribute, he added.

The Minister said these companies were in a position to help supply flags to the public, sponsor National Day awareness programmes, or contribute in any other way to the month-long celebrations.

"When they are asked to help in building our nation, they are not forthcoming. If it were not for the government's help, these companies would have lost huge sums of money," he said.

Kadir also took to task the private and government sectors for not decorating their buildings for the celebrations despite promises.

"We have urged them to decorate their buildings but to our dismay we have not seen any change up to now," he said.

"We want these companies to help people celebrate our National Day and to play a role in helping to remind them of their responsibilities as Malaysians.

"I have not seen any action. Please give a little extra for the love of the country," he said.

The government has also planned a series of events from Aug 17 to Sept 16 in conjunction with the celebrations.

This year's celebrations, one of the largest ever, include flying the largest Malaysian flag, prayers in mosques, churches and temples, National Day-eve countdown involving rural and urban schools and the official closing ceremony.

bn/LS/RR End ::irna 14:50