By Anthony Dylan

The 16th of September 1963. This was the date when Malaysia was formed. This was the date selected when the Federation of Malaya, Sarawak, North Borneo (now Sabah) and Singapore together created Malaysia. Singapore left Malaysia and became a new country on 9th August 1965. Less than 2 years after. Malaysia is going to be 59 years old on 16th September 2022.

The National Day of 31st August was in recognition of the independence of the Federation of Malaya from the British in 1957. This year, it has been 65 years. Merdeka rings loudly for the Peninsula of Malaysia remembering history. This was accorded the status of a National Holiday with the celebration of the Malaysia Day on 16th September since 2010. This recognition of historical fact was made by the Prime Minister of Malaysia then, Najib Tun Razak.

The facts are historical. There is no need to be unaware anymore. So, when you celebrate Merdeka, do not it is not for Malaysia, but for the Federation of Malaya. Malaysia was formed by an independent Federation of Malaya (since 31 August 1957), a self-governing Sarawak (since 22 July 1963), a self-governing North Borneo/Sabah (since 31 August 1963) and Singapore (1 August 1958).

Malaysia kept the 31st of August as a National Holiday though it has no meaning for Sarawak and Sabah. The addition of 16th September as a National Holiday had indeed created a rather confusing situation even with politicians on both sides of the divide. I find it strange that politicians do not even know their country’s history when some still confuse themselves by wishing all “…Merdeka Malaysia” on 31st of August. Many corporations and within the public still make the same error.

Nevertheless, I will continue to write about this because we need to be corrected. We should not start with forgetting factual facts of history. It is bad that even some politicians never seem to learn their facts. The media has a role to play to ensure facts are correct as well. Otherwise, we will in future be making factual lies.

The current Government would be heading towards the General Elections soon. Some say it could be as early as the last quarter of 2022. Perhaps, they took inspiration of Sarawak’s own elections held on 18th December 2021. A few days before Christmas. It affected many because some who have planned to come back for Christmas could not change plans as leaves were already planned to stretch from Christmas eve to the New Year. I simply thought it was irresponsible. The results would not have been changed much though if done on any other month thereafter. But to deny thousands to come back with such a timing was irresponsible. Let us hope we do not see this happening so near Christmas 2022, Chinese New Year 2023 or Hari Raya 2023. After all, we have been advised that direction is to be a “Keluarga Malaysia.” Being inclusive would also mean weeding out the ethnic and religious rhetoric. Politicians who continue to propagate hate and campaign for should be removed. They have no place for Malaysia if you want Malaysia to prosper.

We all know that it has been a hard few years for Malaysia especially with the spectre of Covid-19 just passing us. Within the crisis we saw how Malaysia could be a real Malaysia. How politics could cross divides. But when things get normal again and the fear of infection eroded; the ugly head of politicians come up again. It has been proven we can move as one. Unity in diversity. But we need to reel in the bad hats. They exist not only in Government but in the Opposition as well.

We cannot rely on political expediency trampling on principles. When you promise something, you better do it fast when you have been given the means to do so especially when in the ruling Government. Some characters in Parliament should never be voted in again. We can progress no faster if we continue to have immature debates and shouting matches in Parliament.

Many of us eke out a living after Covid-19 and mostly through our own accord. Striving to make ends meet and some having found the meaning of a balanced livelihood compared to before. Malaysia is too young to erode. Malaysia is only 59 years old come 16th of September 2022. Anyone born in 1963 would be truly a Malaysian.

There are so much to do for Malaysia if you believe in the new country. Equitable distribution of infrastructure aid is something needing attention especially for Sarawak and Sabah. The challenge for education and connectivity remains the pian points.

Malaysia needs to invest in the healthcare system. There is a dire need to equip our country with fully equipped hospitals and clinics. We need to have enough workforce to serve this sector. The past 2 years showed us how we lack in these. We also need to get affordable access to medicine and medication. Otherwise, only the rich can afford medicines and care.

The emphasis should be on public medical facilities. We cannot have private companies start controlling the medical and healthcare system. It is the Government’s role to protect the people and to care for the people. Healthcare, housing and education are the 3 areas which would make a great country. Jobs will come when the 3 are taken care of. A country which is healthy, without worry of housing and well educated in both traditional and no traditional areas would propel innovation and continuity.

Let us celebrate the FORMATION OF MALAYSIA on 16th September 1963. Let us celebrate Malaysia’s 59th birthday this year.

God bless