In year 2010, September 16 was declared as a public holiday to commemorate the joining together of Malaya, Sarawak, North Borneo (now Sabah) and Singapore to form Malaysia in the year of 1963. However due to major racial riots in Singapore (1964), she was being expel from the federation to avoid more bloodshed which eventually lead to the Independence of Singapore on 9th August 1965.
Sarawak gain its independence on 22 July 1963 prior to the formation of Malaysia from the United Kingdom. The formation of Malaysia was made through Malaysia Bill to the Malayan Parliament on 9th July 1963 and got the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s consent on 29th August 1963.
Today, the entire nation of Malaysia celebrated its first ‘Malaysia Day’.
So what’s the different between Malaysia Day and National Day?
Malaysia Day is to commemorate the formation of Malaysia between Malaya, Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore (but eventually being expelled due to ideological differences between Singapore and Malaysia leaders) on 16 September 1963 whereas National Day is to commemorate the Malaya’s independence from the British rule which is celebrated on 31st August 1957.
Come to think of it, in my entire dinosaur years as a Malaysian, I’ve been celebrating the National Day when the day is commemorating the Independence of Malaya instead of Malaysia.
*facepalm* Tipah tertipu bang!
Anyway, here’s another interesting fact on the formation of Malaysia which until today some Malaysians doesn’t aware of (especially the requirement to travel with passport to enter Sarawak state). Indonesia and Philippines opposed the Federation of Malaysia hence lead to a referendum organised by the United Nations and the Cobbold Commission. It was formed to determine whether Sarawak and Sabah wished to join Malaysia hence the 18 Points Agreement (Sarawak) and the 20 Points Agreement (Sabah) which was accomplished through the enactment of Malaysia Act 1963. In a simple word, those agreements are the deal for Sarawak and Sabah to form Malaysia.
So, there you have it: a brief history of everything (National Day and Malaysia Day).
I think to live harmoniously in a multi-racial community, it is good to learn and to know the history as it provides not only factual findings but the reasons to respect one another. Thank you history. Thank you to unsung heroes too.
As a Sarawakian, I feel that today is the independent day of Malaysia. I will never see ‘National Day’ the same again.
Happy Malaysia Day to fellow Malaysians!