Sarawak 4 Sarawakians (S4S) wants to know why Malaya’s Merdeka continues to be portrayed as the primary celebration even in Sarawak.
He cautioned against passing off Malaya’s Merdeka Day on August 31 as National Day for Malaysia.
“Only September 16 can qualify as National Day. Malaysia did not exist on August 31,” its chairman Peter John Jaban said.
Jaban said in a statement: “The Jalur Gemilang of Malaysia must not be used to celebrate Malaya’s Merdeka on August 31. The Jalur Gemilang is for Malaysia Day on September 16.”
August 31, he said, had no significance for the people of Sarawak, adding: “Our history must not be based on collective amnesia.”
S4S wants an end to the misinformation on August 31 and its place in history.
Jaban said: “There must be greater prominence nationwide on September 16 or 916.”
“There must be an accurate portrayal of the history of the nation in schools. Malaysia, born on 16 September 1963, is not 59 years old as the signs at airports and everywhere else claim.”
Ever since September 16 was declared a public holiday after nearly five decades had passed, the centre of celebrations had always alternated between Sabah and Sarawak, noted Jaban.
“Do the authorities in Kuala Lumpur have something to hide? Why isn’t Malaysia Day hosted in Malaya?”
In fact, he added in a little digression, August 31 is the day Malaya joined the Commonwealth of Nations. “Malaya became independent on July 31 when the UK Parliament passed the Independence of Malaya Act 1957.”
He hastened to add, however, that the people of Sabah and Sarawak would be happy to celebrate Malaya’s Merdeka.
In return, he called for the people on the other side of the South China Sea to celebrate Sarawak’s Independence Day on July 22 and Sabah’s Independence Day on August 31. “They should also agree to host Malaysia Day, 916, in rotation with the two Borneo nations,” said Jaban.