16 September 1963 marked the merging of Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak to what is known as the country Malaysia today. In the following years Malaysians have been celebrating the independence as well as the unity and harmony we have achieved both at the peninsular and East Malaysia. While initially it was widely celebrated in East Malaysia, over the years Malaysia Day has gained significance in the peninsular as well. However, due to the recent global pandemic COVID-19, Malaysians aren’t able to celebrate Malaysia Day like we used to. But that doesn’t mean we can’t show our patriotism during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) period. Here’s how we can celebrate Malaysia Day during the RMCO safely.
Malaysians look forward to watching the live telecast of Malaysia Day’s celebrations every year. This year, the celebrations will be taking place in Sarawak, and will be broadcasted live on RTM’s TV1 Channel at 8.30 p.m. Featuring the arrival of esteemed guests such as the Governor of Sarawak, TYT Tun Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud, Prime Minister YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Sarawak chief minister, YAB Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari, as well as other prominent ministers. You will be dazzled by various performances from our artists and performers, such as dance performances like Joget Tahnahku Merdeka, Tarian “Satu Jiwa”, Tarian “Soul of Sarawak” as well as a live orchestra performance.
As Malaysians, we pride ourselves on several things; our culture, traditions, and of course food. Food has always been a big uniting factor between all the races in the country. With various fusion dishes being born from the mingling of cultures,we get to enjoy our iconic Roti Canai, originally a flatbread from India, alongside with a cup of Teh Tarik that is popular irregardless of the day at our favourite Mamak stall. We also get to enjoy Nasi Lemak, a traditional Malay dish but an absolute favourite among all the races in Malaysia with some even proclaiming it to be the pride of the nation. Also another local favourite is Char Kuey Teow, a dish of chinese origin, has been adapted to our local cuisine and can be found in various styles, as well as halal versions of it as well. As much as we Malaysians love our food, we also love sharing them with our friends at a local Mamak or trying out the variety of cuisine from the diverse cultures in Malaysia.
Due to the pandemic, many businesses had suffered, some to the point of having to close down. As Malaysians however, we can still do our part to revitalize the economy by supporting our local businesses, especially the small independent ones. During the MCO period, many people turned to social media to promote their products and services. Since we have impositions due to the RMCO, we can still support these small independent local businesses by purchasing their products online and have them delivered to your doorstep. We can also promote these businesses via social media and help get the word out about their business. As fellow Malaysians, let’s do our part in helping out our fellow struggling Malaysians during these hard times.
As Malaysians, we love being out and about, especially during a celebration like Malaysia Day. What better way to celebrate Malaysia Day by appreciating our history and the journey that led us to our current era of peace by visiting historical sites.
Take a trip to Bukit Larut (formerly known as Maxwell Hill), a hill resort that was originally the British’s administration in Perak. Bukit Larut is known for its biodiversity, as well as the cooling temperatures and the hiking and jeep rides to the summit.
Penang War Museum is also a great historical site to visit to learn about the soldiers that fought in World War 2. Initially called the Batu Maung Fort, it was built by the British to defend the Penang Island from amphibious assault and housed the Allied garrison in Penang. However the fort was taken over by the Japanese forces when they invaded Malaya, and used the fortress as a base to protect the Japanese shipping around Penang Island.
Another significant historical site is the Agnes Keith house located in Sandakan, Sabah. Initially a house provided by her husband Harry Keith who was a British official assigned for forest conservation in Sandakan, the house is now a museum that provides insights to life during the administration of British North Borneo. Agnes Keith is also known for her three autobiographical accounts of her life in British North Borneo. Be sure to keep a distance and avoid crowds during your trip and to wear a face mask and frequently sanitize your hands.
Learn some fun facts about Malaysia Day! Did you know we had a song written by Bobby Gimby called “Malaysia Forever” in order to celebrate the new Federation of Malaysia in 1963? The song became a hit and was played annually until Singapore broke away from Malaysia to gain independence as a nation. Another fun fact: According to the Malaysian Insights and Malay Mail, the declaration of Malaysia was held in Stadium Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur on September 17 1963. Tunku Abdul shouted “Merdeka” 7 times during the declaration of Malaysia ceremony like he did for our Independence day on August 31st 1957. The ceremony ended with a 101-gun salute just like in 1957. You can read more by clicking here or here.
Credit: World Evolution Brain
RTM is also offering various programs in conjunction with Malaysia Day such as a special documentary on TV 2 called Jubli Emas Rukun Negara on 16 September, 11.30 a.m. A documentary that focuses on unravelling the secrets behind the “Rukun Negara”. Catch the movie “Negaraku 16 September” at TV 1 on 16 September, 11.05 a.m, a gripping tale of the remaining guirela squad that is led by Antaga that supports the formation of Malaysia.
Credit: Unit Drama TV RTM
Aside from that, there’s also “Terperangkap” featuring Izzue Islam, Lia Natalia, Victor Vimal Muniandy and DJ Sonic, a drama about four officers being trapped in a lift and learning to be tolerant to one another, which will be shown on 16 September 1.45 pm. The programs can also be watched online on myklik.rtm.gov.my or on the RTM Mobile App.
While Malaysians are adjusting to the new normal due to the global pandemic year that limits the ways we can celebrate Malaysia Day, that does not mean we still cannot show our patriotism on this day. Let’s all celebrate responsibly and safely during this pandemic. Happy Malaysia Day!