Hari Merdeka (Independence Day) is a national day of Malaysia commemorating the independence of the Federation of Malaya from British colonial rule, celebrated on August 31. In a wider context, it is to celebrate the formation of Malaysia. This year 2010, Malaysia will celebrate it’s 53rd Independence Day ( Hari Kemerdekaan Malaysia ) on celebrated on Tuesday, 31 August 2010 with the theme 1 Malaysia Menjana Transformasi (1Malaysia Transforming the Nation) . The national independence celebration this year will begin from August 1 to September 16. Merdeka Month celebrations would begin with the launch at the Stadium Utama Kangar, Perlis on August 1 and ending with the Malaysia Day celebration at Padang Merdeka in Kota Kinabalu on September 16. A bit of history:
On February 8, 1956, agreement was reached for Malaya to gain independence from the British Empire. However, for a number of logistical and administrative reasons, it was decided that the official proclamation of independence would only be made the next year, on August 31, 1957, at Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium), in Kuala Lumpur. The Federation of Malaysia, comprising the States of Malaya, North Borneo (later renamed Sabah), Sarawak and Singapore was to be officially declared on the date August 31, 1963, on the 6th anniversary of Malayan independence. However, it was postponed to September 16, 1963, mainly due to Indonesian and the Philippines’ opposition to the formation of Malaysia. Nevertheless, North Borneo and Singapore declared sovereignty on August 31, 1963. The formation of the Federation of Malaysia was then announced on September 16, 1963 as Malaysia Day. The nationwide Independence Day celebration is still held on August 31, the original independence date of Malaya, while Malaysia Day is a public holiday only in East Malaysia. However, this has caused some minor discontent among East Malaysians in particular since it has been argued that celebrating the national day on August 31 is too Malaya-centric. It is decided that starting 2010, Malaysia Day on September 16 will be a nationwide public holiday in addition to Hari Merdeka on August 31.
Malaysia Independence Day
An Independence Day is an annual celebration observing the anniversary of a nation’s independent statehood, usually after ceasing to be a colony or part of another state. All countries honor their respective independence day, celebrating it as a national holiday. The independence of Malaysia is different from that of the independence of other countries. It was a peaceful independence attained by holding talks with the British. Thus on 31 August 1957, Malaysia got its independence from the United Kingdom.
The first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj spearheaded the effort for independence, who led a delegation of ministers and political leaders of Malaya in negotiations with the British in London for Merdeka, or independence along with the first president of the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) Tun Dato Sir Tan Cheng Lock and fifth President of Malaysian Indian Congress Tun V.T. Sambanthan. Just when it became clear that the Communist threat posed during the Malayan Emergency was getting out of hand, agreement was reached on February 8, 1956, for Malaya to gain independence from the British Empire. But for some reason it was decided that the official proclamation of independence would be made the next year, onAugust 31, 1957, at Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium), in Kuala Lumpur.
On this glorious day Allahyarham Tunku Abdul Rahman proudly declared the independence day of Malaysia by shouting out “Merdeka” seven times at the Merdeka Stadium. Hari Merdeka meaning the Independence Day is the national day of Malaysia commemorating the independence of the Federation of Malaya from British colonial rule. In a larger perspective this day is celebrates the formation of Malaysia. On...
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