Rais Yatim said the Cabinet has approved 'Janji Ditepati' (Promises Fulfilled) as the theme for this year's 55th Merdeka celebration.
Good enough. The Opposition protested and accused the government, especially the Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture as having a political agenda by putting forward such a 'puncy' theme.
Whether it was politically strategised or not, I don't see anything is wrong with such a strong theme. At least it makes Pakatan Rakyat restless.
However, I believe there is no need to set up a special committee to study the 'originality' of the Merdeka theme song which some quarters said is a carbon-copy of the Indonesians' Christian song 'Serukan NamaNya'.
I have listened to the song more than a dozen times and made comparison to 'Serukan NamaNya'. Yes, there are some similarities to the cords and tempo but I believe there are thousands other songs that share such similarities.
I have listened to Lobo's 'Whisper In the Wind' which is almost 100 per cent resembles P Ramlee's 'Getaran Jiwa', folk music 'Ulit Mayang' that fits a Papua New Guinea traditional beat and a local song by a female artiste which also carries the musical composition and tempo of Japanese You Hayami.
A friend from Zagreb also let me listened to a Croatian song that sounded more like one of my favorites, 'Cinta Di Bawah Sedar' by Rahim Maarof.
Call it a coincidence. There are many coincidences if you look around and that Merdeka theme song could also share the tempo and cords of many songs in the world.
So, why do we need to verify its originality?
Many years ago our national anthem 'NegaraKu' was also said to be a copied product. Some Indonesian still claim that 'NegaraKu' was composed after one of their songs 'Terang Bulan' while The Seychelles said the anthem originated from the island nation.
And what about our national flag 'Jalur Gemilang' and its stripes resemblence to that of Uncle Sam?
We should be open here. Some similarities are just coincidence.
We must admit there are many copycats around but I don't think this Merdeka theme song was deliberately composed and produced on others' copyrights. Politicians think alike, and so are composers and lyricists.
By the way, is there any similarity between DAP and PAP's party logo?