𝐃𝐢𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐌𝐚𝐥𝐚𝐲𝐚𝐧 𝐟𝐥𝐚𝐠 𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐡𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐜 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝟏𝟗𝟓𝟕 𝐢𝐧 Stadium 𝐌𝐞𝐫𝐝𝐞𝐤𝐚 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐏𝐞𝐧𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐢𝐭𝐞?
𝐻𝑖𝑠 𝑛𝑎𝑚𝑒 𝑖𝑠 𝐶ℎ𝑖𝑒𝑓 𝑃𝑒𝑡𝑡𝑦 𝑂𝑓𝑓𝑖𝑐𝑒𝑟, 𝐶𝑃𝑂(𝑅) 𝑂𝑙𝑖𝑣𝑒𝑟 𝐶𝑢𝑡ℎ𝑏𝑒𝑟𝑡 𝑆𝑎𝑚𝑢𝑒𝑙.
When asked about the historic night when he hoisted the Federation of Malaya flag at the Stadium Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur in 1957, Samuel said, "“The stadium was so packed! I guessed more than 40,000 people thronged the stadium that day.
Samuel (right) hoisting the flag of the Federation of Malaya at the Stadium Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur. Credit: Buletin Mutiara
“Some even climbed trees to witness the historical event,” former Chief Petty Officer Samuel revealed the contrasting ambience on Aug 31, 1957.
Samuel, 84, said Malaya’s first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman read the Proclamation of Independence before chanting ‘Merdeka’ seven times with the crowd joining in.
On Aug. 31, 1957, Malaya's first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, shouted "Merdeka!" seven times as a rallying cry at the Merdeka Stadium in Kuala Lumpur. During the event, Samuel was tasked to hoist the flag of the Federation of Malaya.
“I remembered the crowd was cheering as the flag went up. Deep down, I felt extremely happy and excited that our nation had finally gained her independence.
“However, I had to compose myself and not to be overwhelmed by emotions. I calmly and proudly raised the flag of the Federation of Malaya,” he said.
Samuel receiving the Pingat Pangkuan Negara from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at the Istana Negara in 1971.
Samuel receiving the Pingat Pangkuan Negara from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at the Istana Negara in 1971. Credit: Buletin Mutiara
When asked why he was selected to hoist the flag during the declaration of the nation’s independence, Samuel said he was trained on the proper procedures and had learnt the international codes and protocols for raising flags.
Samuel and his wife Tan Gim Choo speaking to Buletin Mutiara at their home in Chai Leng Park, Prai.
“I also have a good memory and I was tall. Hence, I was asked to raise the flag while the other two officers ensured that the flag did not touch the ground,” he told Buletin Mutiara at his home in Chai Leng Park, Prai.