BY UMSU PRESS
Malaysia Day aims to commemorate the founding of Malaysia every September 16, celebrating our new coalitions, Sabah and Sarawak states which are located in East Malaysia.
Prior to 1963, Malaysia was known as Malaya and reformed as the Federation of Malaya in 1948. Our country gained independence from the British on 31st August 1957, subsequently, Federation of Malaya merged with the British crown provinces of North Borneo (now Sabah), Sarawak, and Singapore to form Malaysia in the view of the fact to avoid the emergence of the communist bloc in the Southeast Asia region on the 16th September 1963.
Unfortunately, Singapore on the other hand, left Malaysia two years later on 9th August 1965, to become their own independent and sovereign state. This separation is necessary to maintain Malaysia's safety and peace while holding a great friendship as a neighbour. For the first time, the Federation of Malaysia was altered in response to this occurrence, allowing Singapore to secede from Malaysia and become a free country. The Federal Constitution and the Malaysia (Singapore Amendment) Act 1965 are both affected by this change.
Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) played an important role in the said merging. To make it clear, it is also known as the agreement between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Federation of Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak, and Singapore. The MA63 wished to merge the Southeast Asia countries mentioned with the existing 11 states in the Federation of Malaya, North Borneo (now Sabah), Sarawak, and Singapore which resulted in the name Malaysia. However, Singapore was later expelled from Malaysia and declared their own independence.
The new country was founded on the advantages of politics, socialization, and racial relations.
In accordance with the MA63, a legal agreement signed in July 1963, it gave a high status for the new founding members to be in the same position as the Federation of Malaya. Hence, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore were given the autonomy to self-regulate and to be their own leader despite being in a coalition. It is significant for Sabah and Sarawak because it establishes the conditions under which Malaysia's federation was formed. It gave Sabah and Sarawak, in particular, a high degree of autonomy in the new Federation. For example, these two states have autonomy over the immigration issues, as Malaysian citizens outside of these states may be denied entry.
In spite of that, the Article 1(2) in Federal Constitution was amended in 1976 and thus was regarded by many as having “downgraded” the autonomy of Sabah and Sarawak, whereby Sabah and Sarawak will be in a position on par with the other 11 states in Peninsular Malaysia, instead of being an equal partner with the Federation of Malaya.
Now, the people of all the 13 states, including Sabah and Sarawak are known as one entity, Malaysians. Malaysia Day is often celebrated in a very simple way and Malaysians are given a day off as a holiday to celebrate themselves as being one of the members of the country. The commemoration of Malaysia Day aims to mark the day of victory, the spread of unity, and it is treated as a festive day. It is a victory day as all of these nations overcame their differences and formed a single federation. Malaysia Day conveys a message of unity. The way the Federation of Malaya, Sabah, and Sarawak came together in the face of adversity is an inspiring example of unity.
The government holds numerous national ceremonies on this day to boost Malaysian morale and spirits too. Local neighbourhoods, schools and universities will organize a series of events in which to educate others about Malaysia's rich history. Documentaries will be shown widely on television programmes, including Malaysia’s filming industry movies and dramas. In fact, listening to patriotic songs can also help people discover more about Malaysia's history and increase patriotism among the citizens.
Finally, the notion of forming a nation out of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei, and Singapore has a long history. Despite the early phases of support, denial and approval, this concept was finally realized on September 16, 1963, without Brunei's participation.
Now, the Federal Constitution of Malaysia recognizes and protects the indigenous populations of Sabah and Sarawak, including non-Malays, under Article 160 (2), in the same way that the Malays in the Peninsular do. In terms of politics, ethnic and regional political parties in Sabah and Sarawak continue to play a role in Malaysian politics to this day. Indeed, the formation of Malaysia has benefited Malaya, Sabah, and Sarawak politically, pluralistically, and socio-economically.
Lastly, we wish all fellow mates “Happy Malaysia Day”!
Kita Anak Malaysia!
Stay safe and stay healthy!
Compiled References: https://linkmix.co/6228117
Written by Secretariat of Current Affairs 2021/2022
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