Remembering a Historic Day in Malaysia Every Year in September
The Malaysia Day national public holiday falls on 16 September annually, celebrating the day the Malaysian Federation was founded.
What Is Malaysia Day All About?
Locally known as Hari Malaysia, patriotic Malaysians come together to celebrate this day with jubilation. The founding of the Malaysian Federation and its importance can be traced back to history. At a time when it was still the Malay Peninsula.
In the 19th century, Malaysia was colonised by Great Britain. Back then it was simply referred to as Malaya. This was part of the British Empire’s quest to increase its diplomatic and economic strength. During their rule, many British companies exploited the local resources and labour for their benefit. Most of the time, the local economy was not on the receiving end of their hard work.
As they continued to expand their reach, conquering economies throughout Southeast Asia, the British were going strong. That is until the Japanese military arrived before World War II. Japan would go on to conquer several nations including Malaysia in the region. This included Indonesia, China, Burma, and North Borneo. During their rule in Malaysia, the local Indigenous population clashed with Japan’s government officials and military.
While they did not openly fight back against the occupying forces, North Borneo, Malaysia and Singapore began to adopt nationalist ideologies. Eventually, an armed resistance led a communist group to openly fight back. To maintain stability in Malaysia, a heavy-handed military response was necessary. Thus, Malaysia could form its own nations. In 1957, Great Britain and the United Nations granted permission and Malaya became the Federation of Malaysia, a sovereign nation with a government of its own. This inspired other nations to seek their independence too.
Finally, the Federation of Malaysia was formed in 1963. Back then, it comprised of Singapore, North Borneo, Malaysia and Sarawak. The declaration was signed on 16 September. In 2010, this day became an official public holiday in Malaysia and a chance for all Malaysians to remember their country’s history.
How Is Malaysia Day Celebrated?
Several celebrations take place on this historic day. Every year, prominent public figures and politicians will address the locals. Common topics of discussion include social issues, politics and unity among the races.
Some Malaysians use this day to celebrate their patriotism. Others use it to be critical of the local government and the many social and political issues that are present because of the diversity. Sometimes minority groups can be seen protesting for their cause.
Flags will be seen throughout the streets of Malaysia and on several private and public buildings. Many of the locals opt to wear the colour red to represent the celebration too.
What to Do During Malaysia Day
All schools and most offices will be closed on this day to mark the national holiday. If you happen to be in Malaysia, you don’t want to miss out on the local food festivals. The country’s multiculturalism has its benefits, and gastronomical delights are chief among them. Tantalise your taste buds with some of the many local delights that will be sure to leave you wanting more.
A lot of places may be closed during the public holiday. However, the major shopping centres and tourist attractions will remain open. Many locals enjoy spending the day either relaxing or catching up with family and friends.