MIRI: Fifty-eight years ago, Sabah and Sarawak joined Malaya together with Singapore to form the Federation of Malaysia.
However, two years after the formation in 1963, Singapore separated from the federation due to political tensions at that time.
Since 1963, Malaysia has gradually transformed economically, politically and socially, despite some obstacles during the early years of the formation, including facing the communist insurgency and confrontation.
But there is now an unseen enemy plaguing the nation — Covid-19 — that has posed new challenges all over the world.
However, the government’s untiring commitment in managing the crisis should be applauded.
This year, following Covid-19, the Malaysia Day celebration will be held in a hybrid manner.
New Sarawak Tribune (NST) went to the ground asking people from all walks of life on their aspirations.
Majority of the people met by the New Sarawak Tribune expressed their wishes and hopes that Malaysia would flourish more in the future, as well as being able to overcome the current unprecedented challenge arising from the pandemic.
Sani Sidek, Private sector worker
I do believe Malaysia will be able to overcome the Covid-19 situation. In order to achieve this, people in the country must stand united with one another. For the younger generation, they must understand the meaning of independence.
Rahman Damit, School teacher
The crucial key to a peaceful country is inculcating stronger unity and sense of patriotism amongst the rakyat. For students in the rural areas, they deserve equal opportunity to move forward in the future, hence the government should not only focus on those in urban areas but provide a comprehensive policy.
Zainal Suhaili, Government servant
Stay united and disregard negative elements brought by outsiders that try to create tension amongst the different races here. Understand the meaning of Merdeka.
Spanski Steven, Malaysia Youth Parliamentarian from Telang Usan
I hope Sarawak would prosper more in the years to come within Malaysia. We are definitely expecting more funds for development from the federal government, and Sarawak must be given back its rights as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
Nicklaren Rommie, Student
As Covid-19 is not yet over, we must stand united and follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) laid down by the government. Stay united and make Sarawak free from the virus.
Roslin Niyak, Student
I hope we would be able to defeat Covid-19 so that we can go back to our normal life. To achieve this, we must stand united together and make Sarawak great again.
Wiyvy Kartyna Ibrahim, Cashier
The wellbeing of the rakyat must be taken care of with a comprehensive policy to ensure that they are able to survive during unprecedented times caused by Covid-19.
Jenah Said, Farmer
The wellbeing of the rakyat must not be forgotten, as some of those in the lower income groups were badly affected by Covid-19.