It has been a month after the 46th anniversary of our nation, Malaysia. But I think it is not too late yet to wish all Malaysians a Happy Malaysia Day. Afterall more and more of us now are greeting each other “Salam 1 Malaysia”.
The Momogun Society of Malaysia, an organisation set up by Sabahans in Kuala Lumpur will be having their Malaysia Day celebration this Saturday, October 17th. I would like to congratulate them for organising such a gathering to celebrate the birth of our nation. I am happy to see that Sabahans in Kuala Lumpur are playing their role in making Malaysia Day an event to be remembered and celebrated.
My stand on the issue of Malaysia Day is public knowledge. I have talked and made statements about it several times before, including last month when journalists asked me again.
It is historical fact that The Federation of Malaysia was formed on 16 September 1963 when the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah mutually agreed to become a new nation.
Malaysia, therefore, is only 46 years old. The 52 years of independence is only for the Persekutuan Tanah Melayu or better known today as Semenanjung.
Some have tried to equate our position to that of the United States of America. They argue that although other states like Hawaii joined much later, the country dates its formation as 4th July 1776. Ours is of course very different because before 1963 there was no Malaysia yet. There was only the Federation of Malaya and this federation together with Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah negotiated to set up a new country called Malaysia.
While we are happy to celebrate with Semenanjung their independence from colonial rule on 31st August 1963, I am sure all of you will agree that it is indeed right and proper that all Malaysians celebrate this year 46 years of nationhood.
We cannot distort history. Some national leaders seem to give the impression that Malaysia was born on August 31st, 1957. The level of awareness among Malaysians in Semenanjung on the formation of Malaysia is lower than those in Sabah and Sarawak, so much so they believe Malaya or Semenanjung is Malaysia.
History is fact. We are proud of our country. That is why we do not want history to be distorted. We want all young Malaysians to learn their history and be proud of it.
I am, and we in Upko are supportive of any move to declare 16th September as a national holiday. We have been proposing the idea to the Federal Government and we will continue pursuing for it.
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