History / Pakatan Rakyat

Independence Day and Malaysia Day

In 2008, Najib Tun Razak said this:

NAJIB: Gov’t does not agree to Sept 16 being made public holiday

The federal government is not agreeable to the suggestion by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that Sept 16 be made a public holiday in the five states under Pakatan Rakyat.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said there should only be one National Day for the country.

“We have chosen the date as our independence day. Having another date will give rise to all kinds of interpretation, polemic and this is not healthy to national integration.

“This is our stand; we give importance to unity and national integration,” he told reporters after launching the Chery multi-purpose vehicle here today.

Malaysia celebrates its National Day on Aug 31 every year.

Anwar had suggested that Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor and Kelantan — all of which are under Pakatan Rakyat — declare Sept 16 each year as a public holiday to commemorate the formation of Malaysia.

Penang and Kelantan had accepted the proposal while the three other states were still considering it.

Another year has gone by and we Malaysians are still stuck in this polemic of which date is more important to us. Let me put things into perspective.

The US, a country where Anwar is closely affiliated to, had made 4th of July every year to unite the people in celebrating its independence. Many did not know that on the 4th of July 1796, only 13 states of the former American colony gained independence.

The last state, Hawaii, became the 50th state in the US after it joined them on 21st August, 1959.

But did they celebrate their independence day on 21st August every year? No. If they did, that means, the US is only 50 years old. Even younger than Malaysia.

Some say it is more appropriate to put more importance to 16th September as it is more relevant to the nation’s formation as a whole. I tend to disagree.

Independence day is to commemorate the day all of us achieved freedom from our colonial masters. And it is not only the feeling of freedom from the British rule. It also encompassed the sense of liberation from all the centuries of being ruled under the Portuguese and the Dutch as well.

Finally, on that day, we could chart our own future, instead of being told what to do from the powers in Lisbon, Amsterdam and finally, in London. If not for the endless sacrifices made by the people who fought for our freedom, our independence might come much, much later. Perhaps in 1984, like Brunei’s.

You can also ask any Americans why they lay greater importance to 4th of July instead of 21st August and the answer would be along the line of the things I stated above.

To lay greater importance to 16th September over 31st August would greatly diminish the value of work, time and struggle that our forefathers had invested in.

Does Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan Rakyat prepare to lose that? Is he willing to steal the original independence day from the country?

To make matters worse, they had cleverly disguised this into 1Malaysia concept. Truth be told, integration can only be felt when there is ONE interpretation of what and when is our Independence Day.

This act of thievery which is aimed only to increase confusion and friction among the people towards their own history.

And please bear in mind (and this is super important), without 31st August 1957, there can never be 16th September 1963. Without the grueling hardship and sacrifices of the people in the past to ensure  independence in 1957, there can never be Malaysia as it was in 1963. This is the lesson that needs to be told to the younger generation. A lesson which the despicable opposition and all its portals like Malaysian Insider, Malaysian Today and MalaysiaKini trying hard not to extol to our younger generation.

To them, whatever the forefathers had achieved back then should just be thrown to the dustbin.

We can go to any pro opposition blogs and see the stark difference in how they wish their 31st August. Most of them chose to write condescending articles and criticism about the fate of Malaysia on its 52nd birthday. Can you find any of the pro opposition blogs with articles that have anything good to say about Malaysia on that day? Besides the usual government bashing and how shitty the conditions of their livelihood were, is there anything patriotic we can take away from? Do you love your country more after reading their articles? Or do you resent your country even more? Is the correct patriotic attitude being promoted by those blogs?

I have no qualms if people want to celebrate 16th September as Malaysia Day but to  make it  even grander than 31st August or to disown 31st August completely and make it an orphan is simply an act of treason in my books. Please look at how the US citizens celebrate their Independence Day. They are united in their pride for the country regardless how despicable they find their leaders.

Hawaians, Californians, Texans, New Yorkers etc all see 4th of July as the birth of their country. 50 states come together to celebrate ONE DATE as the uniting factor in the spirit of their patriotism. We only have 13 states and still being thrown into disunity just because a few opposition leaders want to gain some political mileage?

The opposition needs to be responsible in what they are promoting. You will reap what you sow in the future and it may not be to your liking.


29 thoughts on “Independence Day and Malaysia Day

  1. Dear JMD,

    It’s all started by Anwar. He chose to be different from his opponent.

    I am wondering why this thing was not highlighted during his tenure as DPM.

    He’s truly a political chameleon.


  2. Dear JMD,

    I have lost my respect of Anwar a long time ago. To me what he says are just mere words spoken in the wind. Unfortunately to many he seems like a wronged angel and his words are gospel. We need to continue to show the people what he really is a mere opportunist that is willing to forego his so-called principles at a mere drop of a hat just for the sake of politics and power.

    I have yet to see any real actions taken by the PR people that does not smell of grandstanding, sensationalism and stealing thunder. Apart from Kedah I have not seen any real value or differences in PR ran States. They too could not seem to differentiate between politics and governance. I have not seen any BN PM telling the State’s MB what to do. But this is exactly what is happening in the PR ran States except for Kelantan where Anwar have virtually no say.

    With his lack of principles I firmly believe he will even sacrifice Malaysia’s freedom and independence if he thinks it will bring him closer to power. He will and can disguise it and make it as if it will be good for the people and his hapless supporters will just eat it all up.

    There is already a move to negate all the work and sacrifices done by early fighters of independence by portraying Chin Peng as a freedom fighter and not what he really is, a terrorist. To me this latest act is a mere addition to twist people’s perception towards independence and thus bury UMNO’s role and thus BN in the fight for independence. I know that there are some in the PR camp just cannot bring themselves to truly celebrate the country’s independence just because UMNO and thus BN with MCA and MIC had played a pivotal role in it.

    They failed to see it was a collective act of the people led by UMNO and thus BN that brought independence to a head. His action spits on the very image and role played by our forefathers that are made up from all walks of life and not just merely members of UMNO, MCA or MIC.

    He should learn to differentiate between politics and patriotism. When will he ever learn. When will they ever learn when they continue to give this person credence and platform to continue utter his much maligned noise in the wind.

    Salam Aidilfitri JMD have a good one.



  3. Saya orang Sabah. For once I don’t agree with Jebat. In your article you equate Sabah n Sarawak merger with Malaya to form Malaysia as Hawaii joining USA.

    You cannot change history. Sabah gained independence from British on 31st August 1963 n Sarawak a little bit later. Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya, all independent entity merged and form Malaysia on the 16th Sept 1963. Sabah and Sarawak did not join Malaya. MALAYSIA WAS FORMED ON 16TH SEPT 1963 and not 31st August 1957.

    Thank you

    JMD : Like I said earlier, I have no qualms if you want to celebrate Malaysia Day. Wasn’t this been celebrated all across the country since 1963? Every children knows that Malaysia became what it is today since 16th September 1963.

    But did you know that the independence achieved by Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore was not entirely on their own volition? They received help from the independent Malaya at that time.

    It was through the help of the leaders of an already independent Malaya that your independence was quickened.

    If you decided that 31st August has no meaning to you then I think the opposition has successfully brainwashed you from apprehending what our history is. The people in East Malaysia had been celebrating 31st August as an independence day of Malaysia all these years without any trepidation or apprehension. We were united for the love of our country. What happened now? Resentment and divisions. Kudos to the opposition.

    Hawaii for a matter of fact was an independent nation while Borneo was under the British up until that 31st August 1963. In fact, California, Texas and Vermont were all independent nations before they joined the USA. But all 50 states now hold 4th of July as their independence day!

    So now the question is, are people trying to demean 31st August 1957? The talismanic date where all those that became independent years after that could finally look up and say good riddance to the British?

    Please read my next article. Thank you for reading this blog. Really appreciate it.


    • tombiruo,
      With all due respect, I noticed that JMD has written this in the article:
      “The US, a country where Anwar is closely affiliated to, had made 4th of July every year to unite the people in celebrating its independence. Many did not know that on the 4th of July 1796, only 13 states of the former American colony gained independence.

      The last state, Hawaii, became the 50th state in the US after it joined them on 21st August, 1959.

      But did they celebrate their independence day on 21st August every year? No. If they did, that means, the US is only 50 years old. Even younger than Malaysia.”

      As much as DS Anwar and Pakatan loves to quote USA, they left certain part of USA that in good values, but not to Pakatan. I’m pretty sure that, if let say one small state nearby (be it at northern or southern of USA), chooses to join USA later, 4th of July will still be declared as USA’s Independence Day. Right?

      And with all due respect to all Malaysians, especially those who whole heartedly supports DS Anwar.. why did he bring forward this idea AFTER he is no longer in the Government? If he is at his 20’s or 30’s, MAYBE, he just learnt history and thought that 16 September should be the one, not 31st August. However, he is above the age of above 50’s and have been in the government for years. A sudden hit of conscious ?

      Anyway, I would like to take this opportunity to wish Selamat Hari Raya and Maaf Zahir Batin to JMD and his readers.

      ~ OnDaStreet

      JMD : Thank you for the wishes and Salam Aidilfitri to you too.


  4. Anwar sure loves holidays.Want to satisfy the people ? Give them holidays,Pak Lah tried with Thaipusam,it never works.Why dont these people get it?


  5. true jmd, we should be sticking to 31 August … no, we should defend it …. don’t care about AI, NA, LGE, KJ, MT or any politic goons anymore … mcm ‘langau’ jer …

    unrelated story

    last night i was in the mood of some readings and stumble upon Indonesia’s website rambling on how do we meng’klaim’kan alot of their rights … it was not a pretty sight … luckily i was able to hold back any emotions after reading all those ‘caci-maki’ …. well maybe after all the hoo-haa of the politics in Malaysia

    suddenly i can see a common sight between the so called Fanatik Anak Merdeka Indonesia and Fanatik PR …. they all need to clear their heads and attend anger management classes …..

    some even questioning our MERDEKA validity, how we achieve it and they even raised on what PR have been ‘canang2’kan …

    i was proud of some of the ‘komentar’ which clearly shown the Patriotism for Malaysia and also solute them for giving a well explanation and also well behave as expected from a cool Malaysian … but still, its hard to as ‘ketam mengajar anaknya berjalan lurus’

    it is sad because a lot of our Malaysian website are hacked by these sad sad creatures ….

    it is sad because it happened on 31 August …

    it is also sad as all the allegations are baseless and we did not put enough effort to clear all of that … from i gather, there is a number of issues

    a) ambalat block (we still under negotiation but still ….)
    b) pendet (although its not our fault, still ….)
    c) manohara (this is private between husband and wife but still)
    d) somebody stupid insult Indonesia Raya national song (if true the culprit from M’sia, then he is a traitor instead of a patriot)
    e) so called insult to the TKI (tenaga kerja Ind’sia) (but failed to see the impact of PATI)
    f) batik (did they not see its only the name is the same?)
    g) renog ????

    how i wish that at point of time (31 August) where they are doing cyber attacks to Malaysians, we, no matter BN or PR, shall stand together and defend Malaysia by answering all the allegations …. of course minus all the name calling and others uncalled act …

    but being ‘tak-apa’ Malaysian, we choose to ignore … keep it under the rug …

    but still after reading all those blogs, i felt pain in my chest …..

    bukan mau cari gaduh, tapi we need to discuss and educate them ….

    i would appreciate if JMD could use your skill in fact collecting and wonderful narrative to publish a blog at the below link ….. or other bloggers

    what we need is not cyber-trooper, but cyber-knight to defend Malaysia ….


    i think that Kompasiana is a place ppl can publish blogs ….



  6. Dear Sir,

    I just want to rectify few things.

    You said “The last state, Hawaii, became the 50th state in the US after it joined them on 21st August, 1959.” to compare US’s with Malaysia.

    I beg to disagree on this matter.

    Before 16th September 1963, there is no Malaysia. There was a country call “Persekutuan Tanah Melayu” and there were few states other the administration of British namely Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore.

    The Constitution in 1963, before it was amended clearly shows this;

    Article 1 (2)

    The States of the Federation shall be –
    (a) the States of Malaya, namely, Johore, Kedah, Kelanta, Malacca, Negeri, Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Perlis, Selangor and Terengganu;
    (b) the Borneo States, namely, Sabah and Sarawak; and
    (c) the State of Singapore.”

    In US case, other states join the existing federation, while in Malaysia case, it was formed as a merger between the Federation of Malaya with The Borneo States and Singapore to form Malaysia, a new country.

    The question is this, why and what are the points of celebrating 31st December when it was to celebrate independence day for Persekutuan Tanah Melayu, a no more existing country?

    JMD : Technically, the term ‘merger ‘ is a misnomer because Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore did not merge with Malaya. They joined it. If not, the borders of these 3 states will no longer be what it is now because it has been ‘merged’ with Malaya. Just like the many states in Malaya, they joined together to form a Federation of Malaya. It wasn’t the case of 10 states merging into one country. They joined together to form a country.

    It is the same like in the US where several states like Hawaii, Texas, California, states under the Lousiana Purchase as well from the Oregon treaty joined in to be part of the US. Some were independent nations before they joined the Thirteen Colonies (original name of the USA) while some attained independence as they joined USA (just like how Sarawak, Singapore and Sabah attained independence).

    Hence, when I said to “bear in mind (and this is super important), that without 31st August 1957, there can never be 16th September 1963. Without the grueling hardship and sacrifices of the people in the past to ensure independence in 1957, there can never be Malaysia as it was in 1963.” Why are you still asking a question on why do we need to celebrate 31st August?

    Thank you Sir for the comment and please read my next article on the pivotal role that this independent, so called ‘no longer existing country’ had played to create Malaysia.


  7. Pingback: Behind the formation of Malaysia «

  8. Dear Jebat,

    I’m no supporter of Anwar, I’am writing as Sabahan nothing less nothing more.

    We never disputed that Sabahan celebrate Merdeka Days on 31/08 every year. But for me it was meaningless.

    Malaysia is not Malaya.


    JMD : I thought you said Sabah and Sarawak became independent on 31st August 1963? Won’t that made you a hypocrite if you feel that the date is meaningless? I remember all the merdeka state celebrations when I was living in Sabah decades ago. They were fantastic. Why do you really want to exclude the history of Malaysia before 1963? Malaysia and Malaya is the same entity with the same people, same national anthem, same leaders etc. It merely undergone a namechange and it just got larger when couple of other states joined in. Thank you.


    • tombiruo is correct. malaya, sabah and sarawak joined malaysia. hence the term tanah melayu is no loner is relevant.
      indonesia now relate malaysia as malingsial and singaporeans refer malaysia as Mudlaysia, and the citizens as muds (used to be mats).
      If we follow the arrogant ketuanan types, even our neghbours have no respect for us.


  9. Dear JMD

    You said, “Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore did not merge with Malaya. They joined it. If not, the borders of these 3 states will no longer be what it is now because it has been ‘merged’ with Malaya”. So perfectly true. Malaysians from West Malaysia, except the Military for obvious security reasons, must have their passport before they can cross these borders. I am not saying this is bad practice. I understand and I appreciate.

    I mention this just as an example



      • malaya vanished into history? can you please explain how do you define “vanish” when there and then written clearly in the books of history the formation of Malaysia still state about Malaya?

        ~ OnDaStreet


      • Malay was a country that gained independence in 1957 comprising of nine states i.e. Perlis, Kedah, Perak, selangor, negri sembilan, Johore, Pahang, terengganu and kelantan.

        With the formation of Malaysia, Malaya ceased to exist. The old Malaya is now known as Peninsular Malaysia, or west Malaysia.


        • Where’s Melaka? (just teasing you.. hehehe)

          And my dear friend, reference to your such argument, may I ask you this questions:

          1) If the date that should be remembered is 16th September (due to the joining of Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore), then the states in peninsular should be “independent” from a colonisation.. which colonisation? Malaya?

          2) Is Malaya a “Penjajah”? Because, the way you put it, sounds as if the states in peninsular were “colonized” by malaya..

          3) How do you intend to explain to the kids in reference to your answer in “1)” and “2)”?

          That is why, I find it interesting to the part where later states in USA joined the USA and still celebrate 4th of July.. and I can’t recall any Americans calling that date as “irrelevant” or “meaningless”

          ~ OnDaStreet


  10. Dear Jebat,

    Pls check your fact, Sarawak achieved independence a little bit later. Sept 1963. So 31/08 is meaningless to them.

    Why I said that 31/08 is meaningless, because we celebrate independence day with the nation age which is meaningless to us. Why can’t we celebrate without mentioning the nation age?


  11. Who bothers to celebrate merdeka or malaysia day anyway.
    There was more civil liberty under the british then under the present ketuanan/taliban leadership.
    Can’t even eat, drink and even romance if you happen to be of a specific race.
    The british gave us excellent education system. The root of a great nation is their education system. India and singapore maintained that system and now they are enjoying the benefit.
    We, on the other hand, has decided to go backwards and focus on teaching bahasa and jawi in schools. other subject are irrelevants as far as ketuanan types are concern as long as everyone in the country can communicate in these two languages.
    ten years from now, the ketuanan/taliban types can have 100% ownership of all listed compaies in KLSE. But all the shares will be worthless as the others have seek refuge in more friendly environment taking their wealth and experience along.


  12. Anwar must be a masochist. He still loves Sept 16 doesn’t he, especially after the spectacular failure last year. As it is, we have too many public holidays and that’s affecting our productivity.

    Another good posting, JMD. Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.


  13. JMD i think you are the hypocrites, You are also arrogance by not respecting the formation of your own country and wish of the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak. Itulah Dasar Penjajah yang sebenarnya.


  14. Salam JMD,

    Maybe it’s PR another political strategy to influence the Sabahan and Sarawakian for the next PRU. Hope the BN can read their movement very well.


    • Sillyrius, why are you defending BN?
      Peninsular malaysian should be ashamed of using sarawak’s oil and gasmoney to build KLCC and putrajaya.
      Ketuanan types are boastful about these projects despite the fact that none of putrajaya buildings has any malay characteristics at all. It looks more like being in northern india, like agra or new delhi.
      And KLCC? it has very little local input. Architects from USA, contractors from korea and japan, engineers from UK and US, labourers from indonesia and bangladesh.
      Sabah and sarawkian shoild go and spit on these icons as their brethrens like the penans don’t even have proper schools and health facilities, and the police under federal ministries are not bothered to protect these helpless people, but instead protect the interest of the timber tycoons who fatten their wallets,


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