Malaysia Day should be celebrated at the state and district levels nationwide on Sept 16 every year to enable a more inclusive appreciation and celebration of the formation of the Malaysian federation.

Head of the History Programme at the Research Centre for History, Politics and International Affairs, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Dr Suffian Mansor said the Malaysia Day celebration should be emphasised among Malaysians because it is one of the important historical events for the country.

“In that spirit, the Malaysia Day celebration can strengthen the country's national integration so that the people realise that independence is not limited to Malaya, but also Sabah and Sarawak,” he told Bernama.

Suffian said many people still do not understand what Malaysia Day is as there are two different main dates, namely Aug 31 for the National Day and Sept 16 for the Malaysia Day celebrations.

He said that due to separate understanding and appreciation of the two significant dates, many would only remember the National Day. Therefore, the next national month celebration should highlight how the independence of Malaya has led to the formation of Malaysia.

Therefore, he proposes that a proper understanding and appreciation of Malaysia Day and National Day should start from school through history lessons which need to be strengthened.

He also said that emphasis should be given to efforts to reinforce the meaning of Malaysia Day, including highlighting the role of Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj along with Sarawak and Sabah figures who made the formation of Malaysia a success.

Meanwhile, a senior lecturer at UKM’s Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Dr Al-Amril Othman said that Sept 16 must be fully appreciated by Malaysians as it successfully encapsulates the regions of Sabah and Sarawak into one nation.

“It benefits and integrates the regions of Sabah and Sarawak and the Peninsula into a more comprehensive development agenda for the survival of a nation,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency