Malaysia Day celebrates our differences and remembers our past sacrifices. Once divided, now one; Malaysia has had a long journey to receiving our independence from foreign rule.
Some of the key milestones:
Malaya’s Independence – 31st August 1957
- Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaya’s first Prime Minister declared Malaya’s Independence from British rule on 31stAugust 1957 in Dataran Merdeka. Malaya is recognised as a a sovereign state.
Discussion to form a new country – 27th May 1961
- On 27thMay 1961, Tunku Abdul Rahman suggested the merger of five colonies namely Malaya, Singapore, Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei to form a new country. This proposal divided sentiments among many parties. A commission dubbed the Cobbold Commission was set up to speak to the people of North Borneo (now Sabah) and Sarawak on their sentiments for joining the Federation.
Formalisation of Agreement - 9th July 1963
- The Malaysia Agreement was signed by the governments of the United Kingdom, Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo, and Sarawak. The agreement structured the new conditions for the component states to be federated under a new constitution. Over the coming months. Sabah. Sarawak and Singapore were given independence which allowed them to officially join the Malaysian Federation.
The Formation of the Federation of Malaysia
- On 16th September 1963, Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore formally become known as Malaysia. The declaration ceremony was held at Stadium Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur which was celebrated by thousands of Malaysians on stadium grounds and millions across the nation.
The significance of Malaysia Day
- There were of course challenges after the formation of Malaysia with the most significant being Singapore’s separation from the Federation on 9thAugust 1965. Nevertheless, with a new nation we all share, and with patience, understanding and time, Malaysians grew to become united till this very day.
So let us all raise a glass of our favourite teh tarik and wish every Malaysian a Happy Malaysia Day!