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Malaysia is 48 years old, not 54

‘Malaysia has only existed since 1963. To claim our nation is 54 is to ignore the role Sabah and Sarawak have played in its formation.’

54th Merdeka in the shadow of ethnic distrust

Good men: This maybe off topic, but I am very disappointed to see even Malaysiakini talk about our country’s 54th independence day. There is no such thing.

Malaysia as a nation is only 48 years old. Malaya became independent in 1957. Sabah and Sarawak gained their independence in 1963. Shortly thereafter, these separate, independent entities agreed to come together and form a new nation called Malaysia. So Malaysia has only existed since 1963. To say otherwise is an untruth or a lie.

To claim our nation is 54 is to ignore the role Sabah and Sarawak have played in its formation. In fact, it more or less implies colonisation of the two east Malaysian states, as their independence from the British, before the formation of Malaysia, is entirely omitted.

This twisting of history has been carried out over the years to suit the needs of the ruling regime, but I am sad to see even a respected news portal such as Malaysikini has not bothered to educate itself as to the true history of our nation.

Anonymous: Sarawakians have no sentiment for Aug 31, 1957. Sabahans celebrate their independence on Aug 31, but from 1963. They celebrate with a heavy heart because by Sept 16, 1963, they lost their independence again, demoted to one of 13 states of Malaysia from being a sovereign territory.

In truth, our flag should be a tri-star and tri-band, representing Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak.

Paul Kerangkas: Malaysia was born on Sept 16, 1963. So how did we get the 54th anniversary of the nation’s independence if Malaya is not fooling the people of Sabah and Sarawak?

The 54th anniversary is only for Malaya. Don’t force the Sabahans and Sarawakians to celebrate your birthday. Yesterday should be the 48th anniversary of the nation’s independence. History is there. It cannot be simply be amended.

Not Confused: I have only lived here for nine years, but have since taken a keen interest in local politics and current affairs and some of Malaysia’s history.

It is very sad to say that Malaysia has become a pale imitation of its former constituent part, Singapore. Both countries started off on an equal footing, but without the yoke of blatant racist policies and no concept of the supremacy of one race over another, Singapore is now streets ahead in terms of its development – politically, economically and culturally.

It is not surprising that there is animosity between Malaysia and Singapore – it is largely borne of jealousy on the part of Malaysia. However, this divide is of Malaysia’s making, and all the more shocking given the vast natural resources of Malaysia and its original cohesiveness of cultures.

Malaysia has now deteriorated into a racially-divided nation where distrust of others is deliberately inculcated by a regime bankrupt of ideas.

Onyourtoes: I have seen it when I was young and now growing old how TV advertisements showing different races wearing their respective costumes and headgears performing their unique cultural dances.

Then, we have ministers’ speeches enunciating the virtues of multiculturalism and on how the strength of each race in the country should be harnessed; I too have heard it since Tunku Abdul Rahman’s time.

In the meantime, what they did not tell you, but did in earnest are the activities of bigots in BTN (Biro Tatanegara), the Education Ministry, and others in the civil service. They indoctrinate, create fear and insecurity, inculcate exclusiveness and supremacy – all paid for by the taxes we paid.

Politicians, knowing that racism is being promoted, have routinely resorting to racist and parochial route when aspiring for national leadership. Dream on, 1Malaysia.

Swipenter: The Umno-led government pretends that by displaying tokens of pluralism and multiculturalism, they have done their part in embracing the various cultures and creeds of the nation’s peoples. In reality, you can see that they are not.

Their actions and policies smacks of a monoculture, a single religion, and as if this country is homogenous. Only in advertisement such as ‘Malaysia Truly Asia’ you find them “believing” in the reality of rich and diverse cultural mix of the people.

Lim Chong Leong: Under Umno, the Malay-Muslim has been portrayed as an insecure, weak-faithed and underprivileged bigot who cannot stand the thought of other races and faiths prospering.

On this holy occasion of Raya, much thought and effort should be given to extenuate the true feeling of Malay-Muslim pride, and offer their great magnanimity and strength of faith to the minorities.

Alas, that is not in Umno’s agenda, but quite the opposite. Selamat Hari Raya and maaf zahir batin to all Muslims of Malaysia and the world over.

Nasir Zihni Yusoff 3999: Malaysia is not living under the shadow of ethnic distrust, but under the politically-motivated ethnic segregation policy. While the Malays remain dominant in politics, the Chinese still have the biggest slice of the nation’s economy.

NEP is suppose to close the economical gap between the Malay and non-Malays. Corruption and other malpractices within the system however caused a major obstacle to its success.

Even if Pakatan Rakyat were to take over, this policy should continue until the balance of social and economy distribution can be achieved. Then, perhaps we can talk about national stability and ethnic equality for all races.

Anonymous_40dc: The seeds of distrust. The perception: From the Malay perspective, it appears that the non-Malays, especially the Chinese, keep asking for more and more, and keep getting more and more even though they control the economy.

From the non-Malay perspective, the Malays are greedy and want to keep everything for themselves. However, in reality, not all Malays have benefitted. Only the very top leaders in Umno-BN and their cronies, irrespective of race, are the ones who have benefitted. Just look around us, who are stinking rich?

The ordinary Malays are getting the crumbs with many still living on a hand-to-mouth existence. Even those lowly Umno grassroots are just getting the crumbs despite supporting their leaders who live in style and have become arrogant.

Chandran Sukumaran: One of the KPI (key performance indicators) for national unity is perhaps the flying of our national flag. I observe there is a drastic decrease of patriotism in this respect in the past couple of years.

This speaks volume of the current status of ’1Malaysia’. The BN government has succeeded in splitting the people through race and religion.


  1. Don't blame the Malayans...blame ourself for this matter..even now people realise the mistake but still no action from these East Malaysians...such a waste of time...All those Kadazans and the Ibans are busy drinking montoku and day the Malayans will slaughter the east malaysians and this is no joke..

  2. I agree with he above observation... we need a nw kind of leaders ! Brave, intelligent and cunning and.

  3. We can't expect only leaders to be brave. The people must be brave too. Dr Jeff attempted to do something several years ago but only him was arrested under ISA while the people behind him chickened out! All are merely hypocrites...very much including the people of Sabah!!!

  4. Article II
    The Government of the Federation of Malaya will take such steps as
    may be appropriate and available to them to secure the enactment by the
    Parliament of the Federation of Malaya of an Act in the form set out in
    Annex A to this Agreement and that it is brought into operation on
    31st August 1963 * (and the date on which the said Act is brought into
    operation is hereinafter referred to as " Malaysia Day ").


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