Tuesday, August 30, 2011

31st August 2011: Malaysia Independence Day

Hari Merdeka (Independence Day) is a national day of Malaysia commemorating the independence of the Federation of Malaya from British colonial rule on 31 August 1957. In a wider context, it is to celebrate the formation of Malaysia.

Historical Background of Malaysia Independence Day Celebrations:
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.

Wishing all a wonderful Merdeka day!


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