DAILY EXPRESS NEWS
Kota Kinabalu: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) said implications for Sabah and Sarawak to accept Malaya's independence date (Aug 31, 1957) as Malaysia's Independence Day is to deny and distort the facts of history and to disregard the importance of Sabah's own independence from Britain.
"Sabah and Sarawak are not part of Malaya, neither did we join Malaysia.
Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore and Malaya (all independent state entities) came together to merge and form a Federal Government to govern a federated nation called Malaysia.
"Such a nation was only formalised and declared on Sept. 16, 1963," said PKR Vice President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.
According to him, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Barisan Nasional (BN) must decide whether Sarawak and Sabah are important variables in the Malaysia equation or only Malaya is.
"If yes, then Sept 16 should be declared a public holiday," he said, pointing out that he disagreed with Najib's reasoning for rejecting Sept 16 as a public holiday. "Sabah and Sarawak had nothing to do with Malaya's Independence in 1957 so why should we be forced to mark that day?," he asked.
September 16 should be Malaysia's National Day as that is the day Malaysia was born and it is more meaningful as Sabah, Sarawak and the peninsula are featured together on this date.
"If we really want to promote national unity and territorial integration, we can then share and celebrate a common date or anniversary. That being the case, Sept 16 should be declared a national holiday," he said.
As for Aug 31, he said it can be celebrated separately as Independence Day for the peninsula (1957) and Sabah and Sarawak (1963) as the years are different.
"Celebrating Malaysian Independence on Aug 31, 1957 does not make sense for two reasons namely, Malaysia only existed in 1963 and Sabah and Sarawak have no feeling of affinity or connection to 1957," he said.
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