KOTA KINABALU, Sept 13 — The Malaysia Day celebration on Sept 16 should be the basis for Malaysians to remember, appreciate and understand the history behind the formation of the Federation of Malaysia for it to remain a sovereign country.
President of the United Sabah Islamic Association (USIA), Datuk Sairin Karno said without it, Malaysia Day would just be like any other public holiday.
“September 16 is relevant for Malaysians because the independence we are enjoying today may not be achieved if the country is still under the British colonial rule.
“Therefore, the Malaysia Day celebration should also be used to remind us of the deeds and contributions of the past leaders and fighters who fought to elevate the dignity of the country from the shackles of foreign colonialism.
“The independence agenda itself is continuous, especially to strengthen unity and harmony among the people of various races in Malaysia,” he told Bernama here.
He said this when asked about the Malaysia Day celebration on Sept 16 to commemorate the formation of the Federation of Malaysia, with the merger of the Federation of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore in 1963.
The formation of Malaysia was met with various challenges, including oppositions from Indonesia and the Philippines, forcing the United Nations (UN) to send a mission to North Borneo in 1963 which then found majority of the people in North Borneo supported the formation of Malaysia.
Sairin , who is a former Sabah state assemblyman, suggested that the Education Ministry and Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) continue with their research activities and publication of history books.
A former headmaster Ramlee Jalimin Jainin opines that Rukun Negara is the main key to maintain harmony and racial unity in Malaysia.
“Therefore, there is a need to cultivate appreciation for Rukun Negara at all levels, including among pre-school children level,” he said.
He also suggested for the teaching of Civics to be reintroduced in schools to enhance students’ understanding on the meaning of patriotism. — Bernama