Malaysia Day 2023: Wishes, History, Food, Flag, status & Celebration! It’s important not to confuse Malaysia Day, also known as Hari Malaysia, with Merdeka Day or Independence Day. They each have their own significance in Malaysia. Malaysia Day is observed on September 16th, whereas Independence Day is observed on September 16th.
Why then do we observe these days over the course of two days? This happens because Independence Day commemorates the federation of Malaya’s independence from the British colony, whilst Malaysia Day, also known as Hari Malaysia, commemorates the union of the Federation of Malaya with Singapore, North Borneo (Sabah), Sarawak, and Malaysia.
History of Malaysia Day
The Malaysian Federation was founded on September 16, 1963, and that day is recognized as Malaysia Day. Malaysia was created by the union of the Malaya Federation, the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, and the former British Colony of Singapore. However, on August 9, 1965, two years after joining the Federation, Singapore left.
The 31st of August is Independence Day in Malaysia and a federal holiday. Even though it is odd for a nation to have two national holidays, the union of East Malaysia and the Malaysian Federation is cause for joy. Sabah was a state rich in petroleum, and the Philippines and Malaysia both desired control of it. But Sabah joined the Malaysian Federation 17 years before it became a British colony.
The Indonesian Islands of Sipadan and Ligitan were formally recognized as being a part of Sabah as a result of the influx of Indonesian refugees in the 1970s and the dispute over Sabah’s claim to some of the nearby islands. The Brooke Dynasty, also known as the “white rajas,” governed the state of Sarawak. Under their leadership, Sarawak saw prosperity and growth.
In 1963, these two nations became members of the Malaysian Federation. Before previous prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak made the request, Malaysia Day was not a recognized holiday. In 2010, it was declared a public holiday.
Celebration of Malaysia Day
In order to foster the Malaysian spirit and remind Malaysians of the sacrifices made by their predecessors to grant them the freedom they enjoy today, Malaysia Day was made a recognized public holiday in 2010.
Merdeka Day and Malaysia Day are frequently observed simultaneously during many of the festivities and activities that take place between August and September, but here are some ideas for Malaysia Day in 2023.
Melaka hosts Malaysia Day celebrations
This year’s Malaysia Day Celebration will be held for the first time in this little, endearing city on Peninsular Malaysia’s southern west coast. 20,000 people are anticipated to attend the festivities, which typically take place in Sabah or Sarawak, and will begin at 8 a.m. at the Proclamation of Independence Memorial in Melaka City.
Visit Malaysia’s national landmarks
You can choose to visit well-known historical places across the nation if you wish to avoid the traffic to Melaka. Numerous sites, ranging from enormous fortifications to serene places of worship and magnificent monuments, reveal Malaysia’s rich history. Depending on where you stay, I’d suggest going to the National Museum, the Sultan Abdul Samad buildings, the National Monument (Tugu Negara), or one of Penang’s many exquisite temples.
Eat delicious Malaysian food
Malaysians enjoy eating.
What better way to mark Malaysia Day—which is all about unity and celebrating the country’s rich heritage—than by sampling foods from the major cuisine cultures that have had a big influence on contemporary Malaysia?
There are many different cuisines to choose from, such as Indian foods like Biryani Rice and Tandoori Chicken, Chinese cuisines like Char Kway Teow and HokkienMee, and cuisines with Malay influences like Rendang, Nasi Lemak, and satay.
Watch vintage movies with loved ones and friends
Hari Malaysia is celebrated by watching classic movies, the “Nujum Pa’ Blalang,” or other material from the era before Malaysia with friends and family. Penang is where Datuk P. Ramlee was born. In Singapore in 1948, he began making contributions to the cinema and music industries. Later, when his career was at its height, he relocated to Malaysia.
The late Datuk P. Ramlee had no acting or directing training. But in his lifetime, this extraordinarily gifted man directed up to 34 feature films, performed in 65 movies, and sang around 400 songs. He is considered a national treasure and a well-known icon in the entertainment worlds of music and film.