On this day, in 1957, Malaya was born, gaining independence from British colonial rule. “Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!” extolled YAB Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Hamid Shah, the first prime minister of Malaya.
On 16 September 1963, the Borneo states of Sabah and Sarawak, together with Singapore, joined Malaya to form Malaysia. Brunei abstained from joining this federation. Shortly after this formation, Singapore withdrew and became an independent city state on 9 August 1965.
On this day, 54 years later, Malaysia celebrates Independence Day. Also on this day, Malaysian Muslims celebrate the second day of Aidil Fitri. It is therefore fitting and proper for me to wish ALL Malaysians, in the spirit of 1Malaysia, Selamat Menyambut Hari Merdeka and Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri.
In our march of time, as Malaysia and Malaysians mature as a country proud of its stature and progress in the 21st century, I wish and hope for all Malaysians seeking the true meaning of Malaysianness within will find harmony, equality, justice and meritocracy championed, where each and every citizen is Malaysian first by citizenry, regardless of class, race, and religion. This is the spirit of 1Malaysia promoted by the current seated Prime Minister, YAB Dato’ Sri Najib Razak since 16 September 2010. Let there be unity in diversity. Let all Malaysians understand, socially and culturally, there is a need to hold on to and to embrace ethnic identities and, at the same time, adopt and uphold a true national identity for each citizen within n a social milieu that creates a bond which unifies and strengthens the idea of being a Malaysian, true and true. The affirmative action for Malaysia in this new century is progress for each citizen accorded on the basis of meritocracy and individual achievement potential.
Majulah Bangsa Malaysia. 1Malaysia for all Malaysians on this Independence Day.
Selamat Hari Raya to all Malaysian Muslims, too.