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KUALA LUMPUR: It is important to understand the significance of Malaysia Day and accord September 16 with more emphasis, several Malaysians said yesterday.
Sabahan Mohd Hazli Ali Zapar, 23, said Malaysia Day should be given more highlights because that was the day when Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak became a true family.
“Independence is no doubt important but having in dependence without being united does not mean as much.
“I feel Malaysia Day was not given enough focus in the past so people do not appreciate the unity of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak as a nation as much,” he said.
The founder of the Green Leaf Theatre House, added that he had been trying to raise awareness of Malaysia Day through his theatre group’s stage performances in the past two years.
Sabahan Welker Libin, 21, a student, also agreed that more focus should be given to Malaysia Day in the national celebrations because it commemorated the formation of Malaysia.
“To me, Aug 31 is a celebration of Malaya’s indepen dence.
“September 16 means more to me because Malaysia would not exist without Sabah and Sarawak.”
To raise Malaysians’ awareness and appreciation of Malaysia Day, Izyan Mohamad, 25, suggested that a special treasure hunt could be organised to encourage citizens to dig up information on Malaysia and learn more about the country.
Although Aug 31 also held a personal meaning for her as her father’s birthday fell on that day, Izyan said Malaysia Day should be also be given prominence.
Patricia Lajumin, 26, from Sabah, suggested that interstate cultural festivals could be organised to ensure Malaysians were familiar with the richness of each Malaysian state’s cultural and historical heritage.
Kuala Lumpur-borne Toh Rong Rong, 25, proposed that more prominence be given to Malaysia Day in schools.
“Malaysia Day signifies our unity as a country and it is a good opportunity to reflect on the positive sides of Malaysia,” Toh said, adding that the government could run advertisements reminding people of the reasons behind Malaysia Day in the media, including on social networks.