Sunday, August 31, 2008

Happy National Day 2008 - How Old Are We, 45 or 51?

In the midst of cheers as the National Day descended, I joined in the crowds to embrace
this wonderful occasion with pride and delights!
Every year's National Day celebrations come with fervent debates on the age of our nation. Similarly, are we 45 or 51 years old this year?
Our Federal Government designated the National Day celebrations based on August 31, 1957 when Malaya gained independence. On this basis, we are, therefore, legitimately 51 years old this year.
However, for certain quarters in Sarawak and Sabah, it is inconceivable that Malaysia could be 51 years old now. They based their argument on the contention that the formation of nation actually took place on Sept. 16, 1963.
The salient point is on the question of whether Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore joined the Federation of Malaya or formed Malaysia, a new nation, on Sept. 16, 1963.
The real bone of contention is their ( Sarawak, Sabah) argument that Malaysia was formed through an equal partnership between Federation of Malaya, Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore.
Sarawak and Sabah further put forth their basis of claim that they did not enter Federation of Malaya, but they formed Malaysia together with Federation of Malaya and Singapore.
Alas, as we sing "Happy Birthday" and blow off candles, we are still deeply embroiled in this academic argument over age.
Happy National Day! Cheers!

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