Malaysia day brings significant meaning to multi–racial community

KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia Day, which is celebrated on Sept 16 each year, brings significant meaning to the multi–racial community in this country because it represents an important occasion which has eliminated feelings of “isolation” among the people of Sabah, Sarawak and the peninsula.

The Malaysia Day celebration has not only succeeded in instilling the spirit of solidarity but also imbued in the people the feeling of love for the nation through the spirit of nationalism. The date Sept 16 1963 actually represents the “birthday” of Malaysia which opened the way for Malaysia to become an independent and sovereign nation.

"So, let us celebrate together the Malaysia Day. Sabah, Sarawak and all the other states in the peninsula have together formed Malaysia, and Malaysia’s strength or weakness depends on all the people regardless of their origin, race and religion.That is why it is necessary to have the attitude of tolerance between one another. Criticising or insulting one another can affect the sensitivity of the communities of the other states and must be avoided so that the spirit of 1Malaysia is always protected,” Inanam Community Development Officer (CDO) Lukin Taliban told Bernama.

He said the Malaysia Day celebration must be held every year as it reminded the people that through the formation of Malaysia, the people in Sabah and Sarawak had achieved independence, became unified, and worked together with the people in the peninsula to build a nation that is progressive and united.

“The people must adopt the principles of moderation and the attitude of inclusiveness based on the idea of 1Malaysia. The peace, harmony, and progress that we now enjoy must be preserved,” he said.

Lukin said in commemorating Malaysia Day, the people, including politicians, must put aside their differences so that they could all celebrate the sacred day.

"The differences in political ideologies should not negate our aspiration or kill our spirit to celebrate together the Malaysia Day,” he said.

Meanwhile, the president of ‘Penggerak Anak Bumi Sabah’ (Mover of Sabah–Born People), Jimmy Palikat, said Malaysia Day had been recognised as a public holiday by the government with the hope that everyone in the country could demonstrate their spirit of nationalism and positive sentiments on that day.

He added that all Malaysians must remember Sept 16 as the day of the formation of Malaysia.

"This does not mean that we must forget about Aug 31, our Independence Day, but Sept 16 must be remembered by all Malaysians as the birthday of Malaysia," Palikat said. "The date Sept 16 is equally important as it is the day that we became One Malaysia. I am certain that most people in Sabah and Sarawak only know about it in general. Awareness on this fact is much lower in Peninsular Malaysia. But we cannot blame them because for the past several decades, their mind had been exposed to the assumption that Malaysia Day conveys the same meaning as Independence Day.”

The president of the Association of the Banjar Ethnic Group, Tawau, Mohd Badrianshah Hamdi, said that on Sept 16 1963, a most historic and meaningful event had been recorded when the Federation of Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah became “one nation” following the decision of a past leader, which was supported by the majority of the people in the three territories at that time.

"The Malaysia Day celebration has a significant meaning because when Sarawak and Sabah agreed to merge and become independent within Malaysia, the decision had brought a very big change.

"The proof is that today Sabah and Sarawak is more progressive and safe under this umbrella,” he said. As such, the people of Sabah and Sarawak must be grateful for being a part of the concept of Malaysia.

"Let us all give our support for this celebration. Although we cannot attend the Malaysia Day celebration at the Likas Sports Complex on Sept 16, yet we can give our support in various ways, for example by flying the ‘Jalur Gemilang’ at our respective home,” he added.