Sept 16 – not Aug 31 – could be declared as National Day

Paul Fong

KUCHING: It is more logical to commemorate Sept 16 instead of Aug 31 as the country’s National Day (as opposed to Independence Day), said a non-governmental organisation (NGO).

Malaysia Dynamic Community Association chairman Paul Fong said he respects Aug 31 as Malaya’s Independence Day from colonial rule which is an event worth commemorating and celebrating in itself.

“Malaysia Day falls on September 16, the day when a ‘complete’ Malaysia, comprising Sarawak, Sabah and Malaya was formed.

“As such, it is the country’s birth date and should be recognised as Malaysia’s national day, and not any other, when the latter two states had not joined. It is like one’s birthday and people celebrate birthdays once a year,” he said.

He said this during his address at the World Moral Day and Malaysia Day virtual celebration organised by the World Humanitarian Drive (WHD), Malaysian chapter recently.

Fong said on Aug 31, 1957, Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore were still independent entities then and only came together with Malaya on September 16, 1963 to form Malaysia.

“I would like to take this opportunity to urge the Malaysian government to seriously consider this matter with regards to the significance of the facts,” he said.

Meanwhile, Fong stressed that the racial and religious harmony in Sarawak should be emulated by outsiders, adding that the key to harmony was to be respectful of one another.

GP Doraisamy

“The right to live a noble life demands not only self-respect but also of others. Every life matters and no one is above the other regardless of skin colour, education level, culture, and economic status,

“Each individual calling himself a Malaysian should work hard, and earn his or her place in society through meritocracy and not based on race or creed,” he said.

WHD Malaysia chapter secretary general Datuk Dr GP Doraisamy who also spoke at the event, said Sept 16 is a historical event for the country.

“Sept 16 signifies the official date declared for Sabah and Sarawak united in solidarity with Peninsular Malaysia, with Kuala Lumpur as the capital of Malaysia,” he said.