National Day of Malaysia
In 1956, the then Prime Minister of Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj led a delegation to London to hold talks with the British Government concerning independence for Malaya. The Malayan delegation, comprising of four representatives of the Malay Rulers and four Alliance representatives, convinced the British Government to set a date for independence: 31st August 1957. And so it came to pass that on the eve of 31 August 1957, at the Selangor Club Padang (now known as Dataran Merdeka or Independence Square), the Malayan flag was hoisted to replace the Union Jack. Early the next morning the Tunku read the Proclamation of Independence at the historic Merdeka Stadium. On both occasions, Tunku's shouts of Merdeka! were joyously echoed by thousands of Malayans who were there, and the millions who followed the proceedings through the mass media. Malaya had officially gained independence from the former colonialists and became known as the Federation of Malaya, to be followed in 1963 by a change in name to the Federation of Malaysia. And every year since that momentous event in 1957, Malaysians of all races proudly celebrate the anniversary of their independence. Malaysia has come along way since then. After almost half a century of progress, development and improvement, the country has become a role model for other developing countries, and shown that people of different cultures and religions can live and work together while maintaining their unique identities and their own traditions and customs. On a special occasions like Merdeka Day, the many races of Malaysia proudly don their traditional costumes and gather at various venues around the country in celebration of freedom, self-determination and unity. Malaysia will celebrate her 49th Independence Day on 31 August 2006. The centre for National Day celebrations rotates around the states of Malaysia. Take for example last year, the main event will be held in...
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