Sorry for repainting Jalur Gemilang, says tycoon

Property tycoon Lee Kim Yew.

PETALING JAYA: Prominent property tycoon Lee Kim Yew has apologised for including a picture of the Malaysian flag in black and red stripes in a blog posting criticising the government’s decision to introduce the khat calligraphy in schools.

“It’s sad to see that instead of my article, the flag colour became a controversy,” Lee, the chairman of Country Heights Holdings, said in a Facebook post hours after the picture of the modified Jalur Gemilang drew protests online.

Lee said he had asked his artist to reflect his worry about corruption and morality in the country by changing the white stripes in the flag to black.

“I advise the future generations, based on my experience, never change the colour of graphic or physical flag,” he wrote.

An online petition to protest the desecration of the flag had drawn about 3,500 signatures at press time.

The petition among others urged the Agong and the sultans of Selangor and Johor to revoke the titles conferred on Lee.

In a posting on his personal website yesterday, Lee, who describes himself as a “passionate Malaysian entrepreneur with a strong belief in Chinese philosophy”, said khat should not be made part of the school syllabus.

“I will learn khat as a hobby and I welcome learning khat as a form of art and not to make it a compulsory! Don’t introduce Jawi as a compulsory subject. A form of art should not be compulsory, compulsory means it becomes rules and regulations,” he wrote.

He also warned that the Pakatan Harapan government could only rule for a single term.

He said ruling parties have been busy fighting among themselves and had lost focus on “more important issues”, citing Najib Razak’s “Malu Apa Bossku” slogan and the “X-rated video” affair as examples.

“These are big Islamic value related issues that should be focused on. The people have all come together for one reason which is to save this country from the brink of bankruptcy and from a rule of kleptocracy government,” he wrote. [Quotes are unedited – Ed.]