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Malaysia Day – Just another public holiday, NOT!

You have to admit that you love waking up to non-work message notifications in the morning. Be it good morning texts or a continuous stream of messages, it does make you feel you are a part of someone’s life. And that’s what Malaysians have been getting these past few weeks.

Waking up the past few weeks, or being awakened in some cases, has brought greater meaning or annoyance to souls only to find out the topic of discussion was not to their liking. That’s because of the frequent messages that can come at odd hours with messages that tell us to be patriotic and fly the flag. But perhaps these messages are necessary to bolster morale.

Together with the other set of messages that remind us to keep up the fight against the pandemic, we are reminded that it is down to us to each play our own roles in the community to be able to soar again as a nation.

57th Malaysia Day

With Malaysia Day just around the corner, people often find themselves confused over the differences between it and Merdeka Day.

To super simplify the differences, one is an independence day and the other is the formation of Malaysia. It is quite common that people have the idea that Malaysia was formed right after its independence.

The actual truth is far from it.

Merdeka Day on August 31, 1957 marks the day Malaya became independent, but Sabah and Sarawak did not. Sabah and Sarawak got theirs on August 31 and July 22, 1963, respectively.

It was only on September 16, 1963, when Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore merged to be one as Malaysia

Singapore however decided it was best to part ways and did so in 1965 on August 9, in doing so, it became an independent country.

Now here

So, how far have we come since Malaysia’s inception?

A beautiful country with gems sprinkled both on land and sea (as many are now discovering), we have always prided ourselves for being a multiracial nation, bonded in unity with tolerance as its anchor.

Having celebrated 63 years of independence for Peninsular Malaysia and soon 57 years since the formation of Malaysia, suffice to say we have gone through the thick and thin, together.

But one could only speculate what is to come.

As nations rage war on one of the smallest microorganisms, following the havoc put on the healthcare and economy system, ethnic groups are forced to pick a team.

Misinformation and prejudices, already potent by itself, are now being fueled by a pandemic. This combo went to new heights at the early stages of the pandemic.

Reports of certain ethnic groups falling prey to others over fears carrying the viral strain has caused much displeasure on the internet. While it was mostly reported from the western countries, Malaysia was not protected from such treatment either.

The concern of clusters did cause a stir within ethnic groups in Malaysia, although it wasn’t obvious. It was visible that people were taking selective social distancing to another level.

While getting text message blasts from the National Security Council at odd hours of the day can be darn annoying, they also highlighted the severity of the situation and that we’re all on the same boat regardless of ethnicity, geographical and political differences.

With such ruptures becoming more apparent now, it is crucial that we look to our National Principles or better known as Rukun Negara for guidance for it was conceived to foster unity among the various races in Malaysia.

In doing so, shall we not stray away and waste the efforts of what our forefathers fought hard to do.

Rukun Negara

“Bersatu kita teguh bercerai kita roboh.”

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