IN my view, the recently-concluded celebrations marking the 57th anniversary of Merdeka should, for reasons of historical integrity if nothing else, be the last in the Aug 31 Merdeka series.
With the coming into being of the Federation of Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963, Aug 31 has lost much of its mystique, significance and legitimacy as our national day. The date has tended to divide us, the people of the mainland states and those of our fellow-Malaysians on the island of Borneo.
I believe Sept 16 should replace Aug 31 as our new Malaysia Foundation Day to commemorate our coming together as a new nation.
This will neither detract in any way from Tunku Abdul Rahman’s important role in securing independence for the Federation of Malaya, nor diminish his brilliant statesmanship in managing the complex process involved in the formation of the Federation of Malaysia. The Tunku will always be “Bapa Malaysia”.
Malaysia Foundation Day will truly reflect both the spirit and substance of 1Malaysia. For a nation still desperately in search of a distinctive identity, it cannot be right to continue with the patently absurd practice of observing two “national” celebrations.
We should have the wisdom and the courage to remove this contentious obstacle to national unity. Tunku Abdul Aziz, Kuala Lumpur NST Letters 16 SEPTEMBER 2014 @ 8:05 AM