Malaysia Day is fast approaching us, but how well do you know the country? Apart from being a public holiday celebrated by Malaysians on September 16, it is also a historically significant day for Malaysia, since it marks the formation of the Malaysian Federation in 1963.
Hari Malaysia is another name for Malaysia Day. It wasn’t until 2010 that this day was declared a national holiday. Malaysia Day celebrations largely consist of patriotic rituals honoring Malaysians’ fortitude. But don’t mix it up with Merdeka Day, which falls on August 31st. So what’ the difference between Malaysia Day and Independence Day? When Singapore, Sabah, and Sarawak joined the Malaysian Federation on September 16, 1963, it became the Malaysian Federation. Every year, the anniversary of this day is commemorated as Hari Malaysia. The original day of independence, however, is August 31, which is known as Merdeka Day.
Here’s a timeline of Malaysia Day:
In May 1961, during the Conference of the Association of Foreign Journalists, Tunku Abdul Rahman had an idea about the need to develop a plan to form political cooperation between the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, Borneo, Brunei, and Sarawak. On July 23, the branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Meeting of Malaya and Borneo in Singapore have agreed to establish Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee. This meeting was chaired by Stephen Donald and the first meeting of the Malaysia Unity Consultative Committee was held in August, following the second meeting in December.
In January 1962, the third meeting was held at the Selangor Legislative Assembly Chamber, Kuala Lumpur. The Cobbold Commission was set to survey the views of people in the states of North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak. This commission consists of 5 members namely Lord Cobbold, Dato’ Wong Pow Nee, En. Mohd Ghazali Shafie, Sir Anthony Abell, and Sir David Wathersons. In February, the fourth meeting was held and in June, the Cobbold Commission report was prepared and submitted to the British government and the government of Malaya.
In July 1963, important agreements were signed at the Commonwealth Relations Office in Malborough House, London. The agreement to establish the Federation of Malaysia was then signed by representatives of the British government, the Federation of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore. Hence on September 16, 1963, Malaysia’s proclamation ceremony was held here at the Merdeka Stadium Kuala Lumpur where the Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman read the proclamation in front of almost 30,000 Malaysia.
Here’s some interesting fact by the way:
Fact 1-The actual date
The public ceremony was actually held on September 17 instead of 16.
Fact 2- Did you know Malaysia Day was meant to be on August 31?
On July 9, 1963, the British, Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak, and Singapore signed the Malaysia Agreement, and Malaya’s Parliament enacted the Malaysia Act on August 20, 1963. Malaysia Day was postponed from August 31, 1963, to September 16, 1963, to provide the United Nations (UN) mission time to decide and produce a report on whether the people of Sabah and Sarawak wanted to be part of Malaysia.
Fact 3- Representation of Singapore
On the flag, one corner of the star symbolized Singapore, but it was later altered to represent Kuala Lumpur.
Fact 4- Public holiday in all states
Before 2010, Malaysia Day is a public holiday in Sabah in conjunction with the birthday of Yang Di-Pertua Sabah state; however, it is not a public holiday in Sarawak and Peninsula Malaysia. Starting from the year 2010, Malaysia Day is a public holiday for all states in Malaysia.
Why do we celebrate Malaysia Day?
Malaysia Day signifies a day of victory. It commemorates the Malay, Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore territorial coalitions. It is a day of triumph since all of these countries have overcome their differences to form a unified federation. Secondly, it spreads unity. Malaysia Day promotes solidarity among Malaysians. The manner that the people of Singapore, Malay, Sabah, and Sarawak joined together despite their differences is a remarkable example of togetherness. Last but not least, it is a festive day. What could be more thrilling than taking a day off and celebrating a national holiday? Malaysia Day is a national holiday in Malaysia, and several ceremonies take place on this day. People sing national anthems to cheer one other up.
So keep your national spirits high and show some love to our beloved country!