Malaysia Day to finally become a national holiday
THE date Sept 16 will officially be celebrated as Malaysia Day and will become a national public holiday starting from next year.
> The day is currently a holiday in Sabah and Sarawak as the official birthdays of ther respective Yang di-Pertua Negeris.
> On Sept 16, 1963, Sabah and Sarawak, together with Singapore, joined the Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia. Sarawak had earlier attained self government status on July 22, 1963, while Sabah and Singapore gained the status on Aug 31 the same year.
> Before that, Sarawak was ruled by the “White Rajahs” of the Brooke dynasty while Sabah was the British colony of North Borneo. Singapore was also a British colony.
> The Cobbold Commision was formed to get the views of the people of Sabah and Sarawak on the future of their territories and found that there was overwhelming support for joining Malaysia.
Sept 16 a day to mark unity
The Government has declared Sept 16 as a public holiday from next year in the spirit of 1Malaysia.
“We want the joys and sorrows of the people in Sabah and Sarawak to be felt by the people in the peninsula,” Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
Announcing this at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, he said Malaysia Day would be celebrated with events that would foster closer unity and understanding among the different races.
The Merdeka Day on Aug 31, on the other hand, would be marked with events to commemorate the historical moment and to remind Malaysians about the struggle for independence from the colonialists.
He said this in reply to a question by Putatan MP Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh, who had asked about the extent of public response to the 1Malaysia concept.
Najib said Sept 16, 1963 – the day Sabah and Sarawak became part of the nation – was a momentous time in Malaysian history.
On racial integration in Malaysia, Najib said the country had opted for the integration of its people even from the early days of the country’s birth instead of assimilating them.
“It is the best path because we portray a strength that is based on unity.
“There is no other country that is as unique as Malaysia.
“And because of that, we can say we have a country that is clearly based on an understanding among the races and we can accept other influences, which has been made into part of our culture.
“Everyone has a place under the 1Malaysia roof,” he added.
Posted by 4th Man at 16:01