The Prime Minister today announced that 16th of September will be a national holiday. In fact in Sabah and Sarawak, it had been a holiday for a long time.
This is a long-overdue recognition of Malaysia Day which is a commemoration of the birth of our beloved nation on the 16 September 1963. The decision by the Government goes a long way to putting right what I have always called a distortion of history.
The announcement is also a significant contribution to the Prime Minister’s passion for a 1 Malaysia where Malaysians from all walks of life, ethnic geographical origin, religious belief, etc can feel that they indeed have a place under the Malaysian sun.
It is time also to remember the founding fathers of this nation. Tun Fuad Stephens, the President of the then UPKO, announced the Declaration of Malaysia on September 16, 1963 in Jesselton as Kota Kinabalu was then known.
He had prior to this declaration, chaired the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) which had in its membership leaders from Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore. The IGC was the forum for the discussion of the terms and conditions for the formation of the new nation to be named Malaysia.
UPKO today wishes to restate that its guiding philosophy is the pursuit of the aspirations upon which this nation was formed. The Malaysia Agreement of 1963 and the consequential Federal Constitution contain the wishes of the people of Sabah expressed through various fora including the Twenty Points.
Let us today also remember our founding fathers, to name but a few, Tun Fuad Stephens, Datu Mustapha, Temenggong Jugah, Stephen Kalong Ningkan, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak etc.
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