Hari Malaysia on September 16th is the anniversary of the day Sabah, Sarawak and the Federation of Malaya, formed Malaysia in 1963.
Even before Malaya’s independence in 1957, discussions on the fate of British North Borneo (Sabah), Sarawak, Brunei, Singapore and Malaya, often led to the possibility that British territories in the region might one day form one entity. In 1961, Tunku announced the idea of an expanded Malaya. That same year Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore and Tunku came to an agreement on Singapore’s inclusion. The following year, the government of Sarawak and North Borneo approved the proposal while Brunei declined.
The new Federation of Malaysia, comprising of Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore and Malaya was officially inaugurated on 16th September 1963; in 1965, Singapore seceded.
Indonesia, under Sukarno and the Phillippines under Macapagal voiced opposition to the formation, Sukarno declaring a policy of “Konfrontasi” (Confrontation) towards our nation. Two years later, Indonesia recognized Malaysia and in 1966 so did the Philippines. (All there nations became founding members of ASEAN in 1967).
Historically, Hari Malaysia has not been celebrated in a big way, perhaps because it comes so close after Hari Merdeka at the end of August. Many Malaysians are not aware of the anniversary. At zubedy, we have a tradition of celebrating Hari Malaysia with a big kenduri (event). We celebrate it in conjunction with the closing of our annual #SaySomethingNice campaign, play traditional games and invite various multi-cultural groups to participate as we revel and rejoice in all things Malaysian.