Merdeka & Malaysia Day Celebrations! (National Day Celebrations)

Merdeka & Malaysia Day Celebrations!
(National Day Celebrations)

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Merdeka! (Pronounced Mer as the Mer in Mermaid De as the De in Decade and Ka with the a as ah and not ey if you know what I mean).  That’s what Malaysians will shout on 31st August this year. In translation, Merdeka Means Freedom or Independence and that’s essentially what it is. 31st August is Merdeka Day or Independence Day for all Malaysians.


On top of that there is also another date on 16th September which is called Malaysia Day.

 

Controversially, in Malaysia there is a dispute among the citizens of which date Malaysia is officially formed as there is certain segment of society which believe that it ought to be celebrated on Malaysia Day and the legal understanding is that Merdeka Day is when the federation was formed and where the constitution formed it as a nation. Subsequently through the powers allowed under the constitution, the other states were added to be part of Malaysia Day. Despite historical understandings between which day it is, in true Malaysian spirit, Malaysians accept both days as ours to celebrate as part of a national holiday and as such both are celebrated as part of our national day celebrations.

What Is Merdeka?

What is Malaysia Day?

Why is 2018 Merdeka & Malaysia Day Celebrations significant?

What is the theme?

Where is it celebrated?

What Is Merdeka?

Siginificantly, Hari Merdeka or Independence Day is the day celebrated when Malaysia was declared to be independent from British rule over the Malaysian states. The date of the proclamation was on August 31st 1957 and on that date the first Chief Minister of Malaya Tunku Abdul Rahman declared to be an independent state.

 

Historically on the night of 30 August 1957, crowds gathered at the Merdeka Square (Padang) in Kuala Lumpur to witness the handover of power from the British. Prime Minister-designate Tunku Abdul Rahman arrived at 11:58 p.m. and joined members of the Alliance Party‘s youth divisions in observing two minutes of darkness. On the stroke of midnight, the lights were switched back on, and the Union Flag in the square was lowered.  The new Flag of Malaya was raised as the national anthem Negaraku was played. This was followed by seven chants of “Merdeka” by the crowd.

 

On the morning of 31 August 1957, the festivities moved to the newly completed Merdeka Stadium. More than 20,000 people witnessed the ceremony, which began at 9:30 a.m. Those in attendance included rulers of the Malay states, foreign dignitaries, members of the federal cabinet, and citizens. The Queen‘s representative, the Duke of Gloucester presented Tunku Abdul Rahman with the instrument of independence. Tunku then proceeded to read the Proclamation of Independence, which culminated in the chanting of “Merdeka!” seven times with the crowd joining in. The ceremony continued with the raising of the National Flag of Malaya accompanied by the national anthem being played by a military band and a 21-gun salute, followed by an azan call and a thanksgiving prayer in honour of this great occasion.

 

The day followed with the installation of the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Rahman of Negeri Sembilan, at Jalan Ampang, and the first installation banquet in his honour in the evening followed by a beating retreat performance and a fireworks display. Sports events and other events marked the birth of the new nation.

What Is Malaysia Day?

Siginificantly, Hari Merdeka or Independence Day is the day celebrated when Malaysia was declared to be independent from British rule over the Malaysian states. The date of the proclamation was on August 31st 1957 and on that date the first Chief Minister of Malaya Tunku Abdul Rahman declared to be an independent state.

 

Historically on the night of 30 August 1957, crowds gathered at the Merdeka Square (Padang) in Kuala Lumpur to witness the handover of power from the British. Prime Minister-designate Tunku Abdul Rahman arrived at 11:58 p.m. and joined members of the Alliance Party‘s youth divisions in observing two minutes of darkness. On the stroke of midnight, the lights were switched back on, and the Union Flag in the square was lowered.  The new Flag of Malaya was raised as the national anthem Negaraku was played. This was followed by seven chants of “Merdeka” by the crowd.

 

On the morning of 31 August 1957, the festivities moved to the newly completed Merdeka Stadium. More than 20,000 people witnessed the ceremony, which began at 9:30 a.m. Those in attendance included rulers of the Malay states, foreign dignitaries, members of the federal cabinet, and citizens. The Queen‘s representative, the Duke of Gloucester presented Tunku Abdul Rahman with the instrument of independence. Tunku then proceeded to read the Proclamation of Independence, which culminated in the chanting of “Merdeka!” seven times with the crowd joining in. The ceremony continued with the raising of the National Flag of Malaya accompanied by the national anthem being played by a military band and a 21-gun salute, followed by an azan call and a thanksgiving prayer in honour of this great occasion.

 

The day followed with the installation of the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Rahman of Negeri Sembilan, at Jalan Ampang, and the first installation banquet in his honour in the evening followed by a beating retreat performance and a fireworks display. Sports events and other events marked the birth of the new nation.Meanwhile that is the significance of Hari Merdeka or Independence day. Meanwhile Malaysia Day falls on the 16th of September. During the Merdeka proclaimation on 31st August 1957, the Federated Malay states in the peninsular of Malaya which did not include Singapore at that time was granted independence by the British.

 

However, the two states in the island of Borneo namely Sarawak and Sabah were not yet released of British rule and following a referrandum in Singapore it was agreed for . As such, following subsequent negotiations and a commission to study it was agreed that Malaysia was to be formed and the formation of Malaysia was made possible with the signing of the international treaty the Malaysia Agreement 1963 between the United Kingdom, the Federation of Malaya (constituted by 11 states created under the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1957 ; as one component); Sarawak, North Borneo (renamed Sabah) and Singapore of the remaining component States. The Malaysia Agreement 1963 set out the terms and conditions for the component States to be federated under a new constitution into one new nation called Malaysia. It is under this Agreement that the “Malaysia Bill” , (Annexture A), the constitutions of Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore were created by agreement of all the parties (Singapore left Malaysia on 9 August 1965). The Malaysia Bill was introduced in the Malayan Parliament on 9 July 1963, and received consent from Tuanku Syed Putra, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, on 29 August 1963.

 

The formation of the new federation was planned to occur on 1 June 1963, but was later postponed to 31 August 1963, to coincide with the sixth Hari Merdeka. Several issues related to objections of neighbouring Indonesia and the Philippines to the formation of Malaysia delayed the declaration to 16 September of the same year.

 

As such, the celebration of Hari Malaya on 16th September.

 

Why are the 2018 Merdeka & Malaysia Day Celebrations significant?

This year marks the 61st Merdeka or Independence of Malaysia. This year is significant as it is the first year Malaysia has had a change of government through the peaceful elections held and the subsequent handing of power from the previous administrative regime to the current regime.

 

It was alleged and believed that the previous admnistration had allowed for several corrupt practices to be done and ultimately culminated with the new change of administrative regime.

What is the theme for 2018?

The theme for this year is decided to be ‘Sayangi Malaysiaku’ or as translated to mean Love Our Malaysia. The logo for this year aims to portray Malaysians of different races living in diversity, harmony and unity, with a strong affection for the nation.

The logo for the 2018 Merdeka & Hari Malaysia Celebrations which portray Malaysians of different races living in diversity, harmony and unity, with a strong affection for the nation.

Where is it celebrated?

For Merdeka the celebrations are usually held on a rotational basis between the states and subsequently the capitol itself which is Kuala Lumpur. Since Kuala Lumpur also consists of the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, this is also shared between Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya which is the administrative capital of Malaysia.

 

For 2018, it has been decided that the main venue will be in Putrayaya. This wil be at the main strip of Putrajaya and the main stand to be in front of the Palace of Justice.

 

Meanwhile for the eve of merdeka, several places and main public malls will organise the countdown towards the national day and places such as KLCC park will be the main target for viewing the countdown. As usual, this will consist of fireworks and concerts by local singers.

 

Next, another main event held will be the countdown concert which is also organised at Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square) where you will be able to watch traditional concerts and performances being held for the public together with the countdown including fireworks.

Merdeka Eve Fireworks Display at KLCC Park

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