KUALA LUMPUR: Around 10,000 photographs and video entries are expected for the Instagram Merdeka 2017 #IM60 contest by the Special Affairs Department (Jasa).
Given the four-month long contest period beginning April 16, Jasa director-general Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi hoped that this will allow participants to get more creative with their submissions via Instagram.
"Last year we received around 4,000 entries and I hope with the longer contest period, we will get a lot more entries with a new theme, Negaraku Malaysia," said Mohd Puad.
He added that the contest is open to all age groups but it will be divided into three categories. The first is for the general public, #im60umum, and the next hashtag is meant for university students with #im60siswa. Finally, open to primary and secondary students is #im60sekolah.
All participants must include their respective hashtags based on the categories that they are participating in, apart from #negarakumalaysia, to be eligible for the contest.
The event launched by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Razali Ibrahim is meant to create a sense of national pride among Malaysians.
"With the contest, youth should be able to express their love for their nation and to understand what independence really means to them," he told students at Universiti Malaya’s Auditorium Perdana Siswa today.
He said that it is important to give the youth and the next generation, a platform, where they can continue to showcase their love and respect for the country.
Razali also applauded Jasa’s efforts to instil the patriotic spirit among Malaysians with the contest, which has been held since 2013.
Photographs and videos (of at least 30-second long) must be accompanied with a creative caption as well.
The top three winners will receive RM1,200, RM1,000 and RM800 respectively, with another 60 consolation prizes for the remaining top 60 entries.
The contest will end on Aug 16, 2017 at midnight. Submissions must tag the contest’s official Instagram account @instamerdeka.
Head on to the JASAInstagramMerdeka Facebook page for the contest’s full terms and conditions.