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13 Things You May Or May Not Know About Malaysia’s Independence

Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman in 1957

August 31 is Hari Merdeka or Malaysia’s Independence Day. Here’s a brief look at Merdeka Day celebrations over the last 59 years and other events that have shaped the nation.

1. Malaysia gained her independence from Great Britain in 1957. Over 20,000 people gathered in Merdeka Square to mark the occasion, including the Duke of Gloucester, the King and Queen of Thailand and the Prime Minister of India. The first prime minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, chanted some of the most iconic words in Malaysian history, “Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka”.

2. From 1957 onwards, Merdeka celebrations have been held every year in all its grandeur. Dignitaries wear traditional uniforms and costumes, fighter jets fly overhead in a blaze of smoke and military personnel and Kadazan tribal people march through the streets.

3. Inaugural celebrations featured dancing formations that depicted the emblem of the ruling party, Barisan Nasional — or the National Front Coalition Party. Barisan Nasional has ruled Malaysia since 1957, making it one of the longest ruling, democratically installed governments in the world.

4. Up until September 16, 1963, Malaysia was still known as the Federation of Malaya. Two years after Singapore left the federation in 1961, the Bornean states of Sabah and Sarawak merged with Peninsula Malaya to form the new Malaysia.

5. Merdeka Day celebrations in 1963 were nothing short of extravagant with traditional dancers from East Malaysia appearing for the first time in full ceremonial regalia, armed with spears and other tribal items.

6. Malaysia Day, not to be confused with Merdeka Day, is held every September 16 to mark the formation of Malaysia.

7. In 1967, Merdeka celebrations saw perhaps the biggest crowd in Malaysian history. An estimated 50,000 people attended the ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of Malaysia’s independence. Thousands of law enforcement and military personnel marched through Merdeka Square.

Merdeka 3Military procession passes dignitaries at inaugural Merdeka celebration in 1957

8. Merdeka Football Festival has run concurrently with Merdeka celebrations from 1957. The festival is the oldest football event in Asia and has seen teams from all over the world compete for the prestigious trophy. Hong Kong were the inaugural winners in 1957.

9. Malacca City hosted the first Merdeka celebration outside of Stadium Merdeka and Dataran Merdeka in 1985. The decision was the brainchild of Malaysia’s “Father of Development” Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad. The Malacca Club was turned into a Merdeka memorial called the Merdeka Declaration Memorial to archive all past and future Merdeka celebrations.

10. In the same year, one of Malaysia’s most iconic acts, the Alleycats, released their chart-topping album Suara Kekasih. Founded in 1978, the Alleycats went on to have a profound impact on Malaysian people and the Malaysian music industry.

AlleycatsMusic icons the Alleycats

11. Following 1963, there was a push for Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines to form a confederation called Maphilindo. However, there were too many controversies and disputes over territory with then Indonesian president Sukarno putting an end to discussions.

12. Shortly after, Indonesia provided Malaysia with the greatest threat to her independence. They declared war on the Kalimantan-East Malaysia border, laying claims to territories north of Kalimantan. Indonesia only came to officially acknowledge the formation of Malaysia three years later in 1966.

13. Malaysia and her states have been ruled by many invaders over the years from Srivijayan Buddhists and Majapahit Hindus to Portuguese, Dutch and British settlers as well as the Japanese in World War II. Many of these cultures are still present in current day Merdeka celebrations.

 

Merdeka 150th anniversary Merdeka celebrations in 2007

So, if you are keen to observe a bit of Malaysian history, be sure to join in the fun this August 31. There will be festivities across the nation with performances, parades and fireworks in most cities. Head to Tourism Malaysia Official Site for more information.

 

Article source: http://blog.tourism.gov.my/feed/

Penang to be totally Psy-ched

Penang to be totally Psy-ched

K-pop prodigy to perform during state BN open house

GEORGE TOWN: K-pop prodigy Psy is all set to applaud Chinese New Year in Penang during a many function open residence in a nation – a state Barisan Nasional open house.

Psy replied to a twitter from a fan @ matthew maXxi welcoming him to Malaysia, saying: “seems like it’s #TRUE! ^^” (emoticon used to demonstrate happiness, choice for smiley face).

Psy’s twitter was uploaded during 6.07am on Feb 2 nonetheless it could not be as certained where he tweeted from. The twitter has given been retweeted 1,055 times as during 7pm Malaysian time yesterday.

@matthewmaXxi had tweeted “Welcome to malaysiaa @psy_oppa celebrating chinese new year here in Malaysia !!!”

Psy is slotted to perform alongside Asian Wave 2012 champion Shila Amzah during a Feb 11 eventuality during a Han Chiang High School field.

Read some-more during http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/2/4/nation/12667779sec=nation.

Article source:

CHAPEL AT PORTUGUESE SETTLEMENT

Sunday December 16, 2012

Portuguese Settlement folk finally get a chapel
By ALLISON LAI
[email protected]

Christmas cheer: Residents of the Portuguese Settlement can finally hold their Christmas Eve mass in their very own chapel at the village in Ujong Pasir, Malacca.

MALACCA: After five years of waiting, about 1,400 residents of the Portuguese Settlement in Ujong Pasir here can finally look forward to holding their Christmas Eve mass in their very own chapel at the village.

Village Regedor (headman) Peter Thomas Gomes was thankful that the chapel was finally ready for use by the community members here.

“The construction work was completed late last year and the priest spent some time designing the altar while we were busy furnishing the chapel.

“All work was done by February and we have been holding weekly mass services there since,” he said after attending the Wanita Barisan Nasional Christmas celebration at the village yesterday.

Also present were Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Wanita MCA chief Datuk Yu Chok Tow, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and several other state women leaders.

The community had previously sought funds to build a church at the village.

The chapel has a seating capacity of 450.
The request was approved by the Government and included in the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

During the national-level Christmas celebrations at the village two years ago, Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim personally delivered a RM480,000 cheque to the village to convert a hall into a chapel.

The chapel which has a seating capacity of 450 is named Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception.

“The chapel project was completed with prudent spending monitored by the village committee,” said Gomes.

He said more than 1,000 villagers and their families were expected to gather at and around the chapel on Christmas Eve.

Meanwhile, Mohd Ali said the completion of the chapel marked a significant achievement for the village which was set up some 80 years ago.

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“This is another good example of the Government giving priority to what the people need,” he said.

Article source: http://tourism-melaka.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default