MALAYSIA was form-ed on Sept 16,1963, comprising Malaya, Singapore (which left in 1965), Sabah and Sarawak.
Malaya achieved independence on Aug 31, 1957.
Sabah and Sarawak were released from the administration of the British, conditionally, upon Malaysia’s formation on Sept 16, 1963.
Those born before 1963 remember the celebration of “Kemerdekaan” without going into details which state got independence and on what date.
Independence was celebrated with joy and pride.
As children of the older generation, we accept Aug 31 as our National Day.
Malaysians enjoy independence as we accept our destiny as Malaysians.
Malaysia continues to progress better than other formerly colonised countries.
The word “merdeka” was never questioned as people lived in harmony.
In recent years, the political struggle has taken a different turn.
What, then, is the meaning of independence?
No one can dispute the following:
MALAYA achieved independence on Aug 31, 1957;
SARAWAK was conditionally released by the British on July 22, 1963, and Sabah on Aug 31 the same year; and,
BOTH states were conditionally released by the British subject to the formation of the Federation of Malaysia as an independent nation, recognised by the United Nations.
As a nation, we celebrate our kemerdekaan on Aug 31.
We can’t have many dates as it would be complicated.
There is nothing wrong if Sabah and Sarawak wish to celebrate on their own dates, but as a nation, we accept one date as a symbol of unity.
The government declared Malaysia Day a national holiday in 2009.
The issue of National Day and Malaysia Day should be put to rest.
As a nation, we should focus on creating a harmonious and prosperous society.
Harping on when we were born will keep the nation at a standstill.
Let us focus on building our nation.
ABDUL JALIL ABDUL GHANI, Papar, Sabah