Tourism Malaysia

Malaysia Day 2011

September 16, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Today is the 16th of September 2011, the 48th anniversary of the foundation of the federation of Malaysia. Two decade ago, Malaysia Day was just a footnote in the country’s collective memory, a historic day that passed without much ado. It was not even a federal holiday, until last year, when it was finally declared a holiday by the government.

Malaysia Day is rather interesting. If Tunku Abdul Rahman had his way, we would be celebrating Malaysia Day on 31st August, a day that bears more meaning to the country, as it is also Merdeka Day. 31st August was not the date that only Peninsular Malaysia gained independence, but also the date Sabah and Singapore declared theirs, on 31st August 1963. The date does not bear any significance for Sarawak as it declared its independence on 22nd July 1963. Tunku Abdul Rahman, who was the Prime Minister at that time, was known to be a man who chose historic dates carefully, and as such had planned for the federation of Malaysia to share the same date as Merdeka Day. As we all know, the date was postponed due to certain objections from Indonesia and the Philippines which were resolved through a referendum in Sabah and Sarawak. Thanks to them, we, for better or for worse, celebrate the founding of our country, Malaysia, on the same date as the birthday of the founder of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew. For those who are not familiar with the shared history of Malaysia and Singapore, Singapore seceded from Malaysia in 1965, thus giving that little bit of trivia a sense of irony.

Malaysia Day 2011

Happy Malaysia Day to all Malaysians out there!

Anyhow, we certainly have come a long way as a nation. Although it took nearly 50 years for Malaysians to finally feel a need to celebrate the founding of our nation, the focus on the establishment of Malaysia, as opposed to the celebration of our independence, does show that the citizens of Malaysia have come to view this country that they were born in as their own. We hope that another 50 or so years will bring prosperity and joy for this country and its people.

Happy Malaysia Day 2011!

Photo (c) .E.T

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