Perhaps, not many who know that, today, 16th of September is Malaysia Day, the day Malaysia was formed. The Malaysia day is very significant although it’s not really well known as compared to the Merdeka Day.
Malaysia day is the day to commemorate the formation of the establishment Malaysian Federation on 16th of September 1963. On this day, Malaya, North Borneo (now Sabah), Sarawak, and Singapore (Singapore left Malaysia in 9th of August 1965 to form a new state) joined together to form Malaysia. From this day onwards, Malaya was known as Malaysia.
At first, the formation of Malaysia was arranged to be on 1st of June 1963 but was later postponed to 31st of August 1963 so that it would coincide with the 6th Merdeka Day. Because of the objection from the Indonesian and Filipino towards the formation of Malaysia, this was further postponed to 16th of September the same year. The postponement to 16th was also to allow the United Nations (UN) to conduct the referendums in North Borneo and Sarawak regarding the 2 states participation in the Federation of Malaysia. The current map of Malaysia
The formation of Malaysia, however were opposed by Indonesia strongly and lead to “Ganyang Malaysia” campaign by the president then, Sukarno and this is the start of Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation (Konfrontasi) (1963-1966). This confrontation ended when General Suharto seized the power from Sukarno.
Ganyang MAlaysia campaign by Sukarno
1)The change of the name from Malaya to Malaysia by adding additional “si” to the middle of Malaya was believed to be due to the new states (Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore) start with letter “s” while Singapore start with letter “si” hence we get Malay-si-a
2) Due to the formation of Malaysia, there had been changes made to the the original flag of the FederationMalaya with 11 red and white stripes and 11-pointed star ( which represent 11 states of the Malaya) by adding 3 additional stripes and 3 points to the star to make Malaysia flag with 14 stripes and 14 star points as we have today.
However, after the separation of Singapore from Malaysia, there’s no stripe and point removed from our flag. but instead, the 14 stripes and points remained to symbolise 13 states + 1 Federal Territory (Which is Kuala Lumpur then). Even now we have 3 Federal Territories (KL, Labuan, and Putrajaya, the flag still remain unchanged as the 14th stripe and point now represent the Federal Territories
It was also said that the 14th stripe and point symbolizes Malaysia waiting for Singapore to come back some day.
Federation of Malaya flag (1950-1963)
Federation of Malaysia flag (1963-now)
3) Jalur Gemilang was declared as the name of Malaysian flag by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in 31st of August 1997 which is the 40th Malaysia Merdeka Day on 11.58 midnight at Dataran Merdeka.
4) While 31st of August is recognised as the Malaysia’s Independent Day, the independent day of Sabah and Sarawak is actually 16th Sept. And 16th of September 1963 is the actual independent day of Singapore from the British colonisation (Singapore’s Independent day is in 9th of August 1965 to commemorate the independence from Malaysia). 16th of September is also the birthday of the former PM of Singapore, Lee Kun Yew
5) 16th of Sept is the public holiday for Sabah, as the Yang Di-pertuan Negari of Sabah also falls on this day. However, Malaysia day is not the national holiday of Malaysia.
6)The UN completed the referendums in North Borneo and Sarawak in 14th of September1963, just 2 days before the Malaysia Day.
I think, the Malaysia Day has to be declared as National Day as well and every year, the National Day celebration have to be from 31st August to 16th September. And, Malaysia day have to be declared as public holiday as well to recognise the significance of this day.
So, everyone, remember this day as another significant day of our nation-The day Malaysia was actually born. And the day of unity of all Malaysians.