KUALA LUMPUR, 19 Oct 2009: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has declared that Malaysia Day which falls on 16 Sept annually will be a national public holiday from next year.
He told the Dewan Rakyat today that the formation of Malaysia as an independent and sovereign country was an important chapter in the nation’s history.
“As such, Malaysians will celebrate a twin national holiday. Merdeka Day on Aug 31, which reminds us of the fight for independence from the colonialists will be celebrated with processions and so forth.
“Malaysia Day will be celebrated with activities to strengthen unity, racial understanding, and the people’s achievement in sports, socio-culture, and others to light up the spirit of 1Malaysia,” he said.
Malaysia Day is celebrated on 16 Sept to commemorate the formation of the federation of Malaysia following the inclusion of Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak in 1963. Singapore eventually left the federation two years later.
Najib was replying to a question by Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh (BN-Putatan) who wanted to know about the people’s acceptance of 1Malaysia and the programmes needed to achieve it.
Najib told Parliament, which began at 10am today, that the people of Sabah and Sarawak should enjoy education, economic and social development like that in the peninsula.
On 1Malaysia, Najib said the concept, which had become the administration’s thrust, was meant to foster national unity among various races including strengthening national integration between Malaysians in the peninsula and in Sabah and Sarawak.
Najib said to strengthen ties, more regular flights would be introduced and more funds would be allocated for infrastructure projects like roads, water, electricity, schools, hospitals and clinics.
“With national unity, the country will become more stable, strong and peaceful. Peace is the most important foundation to achieve the objectives of Vision 2020 that will make Malaysia a developed country in all aspects.
“Unity had led to peace in the country for more than five decades. The price of peace is too high and can’t be bought with money. Those who try to disrupt unity are the ones destroying the peace,” he said.
Replying to a question by Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang (PAS-Marang), Najib said the 1Malaysia concept was a continuation of previous policies which had been implemented. — Bernama