The Peninsular Malaysians celebrated their beloved country, Malaysia’s Independence Day on 31st August 2022 last month.
But, do you know that Malaysia, Sabah, and Sarawak actually have different independence days? Malaysia, Sabah, and Sarawak achieved their independence from British colonial rule at different times. Interestingly, these three nations achieved complete and partial independence from the British before the formation of the Federation of Malaysia separately.
Malaysia’s Independence Day
Additionally, Malaysia celebrates its Independence Day on 31st August. On that date, the states in the Malayan Peninsula gained their independence from the British on 31st August 1957.
Contrary to Malaya, Sabah only became a British crown colony after World War II in 1945. Sabah was granted independence and given self-governing rights on 31st August 1963 by the British. For your information, Sabahans celebrate 31st August as Sabah Day every year, but not as Merdeka Day.
Sarawak Independence Day
Sarawak got its independence day on 22nd July 1963. On that day, Stephen Kalong Ningkan was officially appointed as the first Chief Minister of Sarawak. He also took steps to formalize the state’s government by establishing a formal administration.
“For us nationalists, we accept July 22 as Sarawak’s Independence Day as announced by the former chief minister, the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem, in 2016. It is the day that marks the ‘Declaration of Independence’ even though we still have not gained tangible independence yet,” said Lina Soo, the president of Parti Aspirasi Rakyat Sarawak.