Tuesday, 16 September 2014

written by Nicole Lee, Junior 1 Higgs, Class of 2015

When you ask any Malaysian whether they know the significance of Merdeka Day, the usual response would be that it’s about Malaysia gaining it’s independence on the 31st of August. In addition to this, most of us celebrate the independence of the country with parades, parties, a short vacation and not to forget the shopaholics who go crazy over the sales. Why is it that whilst Merdeka Day is celebrated widely across the country, Malaysia Day is merely a footnote in our history books?

It is very often forgotten that Malaysia was only formed on the 16th of September 1963 when Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore joined together with the existing States of the Federation of Malaya, to establish the new federation of Malaysia. They did not join Malaysia before 1957 as is commonly thought. In other words, the 16th of September, Malaysia Day is Malaysia’s birthday. This recently created holiday, since 2010, has much significance for East Malaysia as recognition is given to the fact that they are part of Malaysia.

I feel that Malaysia Day should be celebrated with more pride. Yes, there may be a few things we can improve on such as the political, racial, religious and social undercurrents. However, we should put these things aside as we should be thankful for the many blessings we’ve had over the past decades. We live in a diverse country filled with people whom we call family despite our different cultures and races, a country rich in resources and free from natural disasters. 

Many stories from the man in the street will confirm that most Malaysians are blind to each others skin colour. It is so common to see  different races sitting together, over a cup of teh tarik whilst discussing common things like how the country fared in the badminton competition or the impact of inflation on their lifes. The recent disaster faced by Malaysia Airlines brought the people together. Everyone grieved, irrespective of the colour, race or religion of the victims. 

Malaysia Day is a day to remind us that we’re really fortunate to have the different races from various backgrounds living together in harmony. Most foreigners are truly amazed when they see how we can easily switch from one language to another in a conversation and understand each other. Malaysia Day, let’s give it the recognition it so richly deserves.
by Akhilan Manivannan 10:19 11 comments | in , , , , ,


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