Wednesday, September 5, 2007


This number has got me thinking for so long, ever since the talk on Negarakuku at KL-Selangor Malaysian Chinese Assembly Hall.

"Persekutuan Tanah Melayu" obtained independence in the year 1957 and our "Bapa Merdeka" was Allahyarham Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-haj, triumphantly shouting out "Merdeka" for 7 times at Merdeka Square. Now, why is that 7 times, not more or lesser? I searched high and low for the reason and I found from this address and I'll just quote it:

Why did Tunku shout “Merdeka!” seven times and not six? Seven was regarded by many Malays of the time and even now by some Hindus as a significant number. Was “merdeka” a common Malay word for independence or freedom? I have seen this so described. Of course, today it is a common enough word to mean independence or freedom but it is a Sanskrit word chosen and made popular by Tunku as a more exact word for independence than the traditional Malay word, “bebas”.
What is playing on my mind is, at that point of time it was still Malaya, which means Malaysia is yet to be formed (both Sabah and Sarawak became states of Malaysia on 16th September 1963). So, point is, we, from the Peninsula, greatly celebrate 50 years of independence with a big hoo-haa, explosions (fireworks), this and that.

But, how about those from the East Malaysia? Many blogs, I've read, saying that Malaysians over the South China Sea are discontent and often argue about celebrating Independence Day on 31 August 1957, instead of 16 September 1963, which is the Malaysia Day. How unfair that is!

What do you think about this? Comments, comments ;)


Carmen N said...

Dear Amy,

I couldn't agree with you more. I have a few Sabahan friends who are royally PISSED about the 50th merdeka bash. They would totally be in agreement with you.

Except, of course, that if you think about it, Merdeka or Independence is about being liberated from colonial rule from the British at the time. So, when we talk about being "free" we are not talking about it in the abstract sense but "real" freedom from British rule.

Of course, many people might also say that we are still ruled by the British in other ways like we have Anglophiles, people who worship Mat Sallehs or the British accent, etc. etc.

But back to the point... so, if we talk about Merdeka, then in a way, it has to be 1957 because after 1957 we were "already" merdeka so, even if Malaysia was formed in 1963, that wasn't Merdeka... just gabungan negeri. Heheheh.

Still... to be fair and accurate, we should actually be celebrating "MALAYA MERDEKA" rather than Malaysia Merdeka because historically speaking, 1957 we were still Malaya and our Merdeka of 50 years is Merdeka as Malaya not Malaysia.

So.. what do others think?

Carmen N said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ViViEnNe said...

i tot they hv d official month of merdeka untill sept 16th..u see?

amy2kyo said...

This quote seems interesting. (Dr. Carmen's 3rd paragraph.)

[But back to the point... so, if we talk about Merdeka, then in a way, it has to be 1957 because after 1957 we were "already" merdeka so, even if Malaysia was formed in 1963, that wasn't Merdeka... just gabungan negeri. Heheheh.]

True that it's just a gabungan negeri, but it's a date that they consider merdeka there.

Let's make a scene here. Hehe.

If merdeka is being celebrated on 31 Aug 1957, only the Malaysians in Peninsula would feel the joy of making merry of this date, yearly.

If merdeka is being celebrated on 16 Sept 1964, only the Malaysians in East Malaysia would feel the joy of making merry of this date, yearly.

Both situations are a dilemma. (Haha.) Even this merdeka date(s) couldn't obtain a unity. lol

Shannie said...

I just don't understand why people have to fuss over such thing, as long as we're MERDEKA we should be happy bout it. I just don't see the need to be angry over the date.

AshviN said...

well said shan. but i have shared the same view too,bout celebrating mereka in august,it's like only for us in peninsul, but they on the other side truly became malaysians(or in that sense,all of us lah)only in september...mwybe we should celebrate hari malaysia as grand as we do(hahaha)during merdeka, then the situation will be equal and everyone will be happy,rite?for now, we don't even get a public holiday for hari malaysia, so i think it's a pity!!

KahJoon said...

i think i know why 16th September is important to the East Malaysians. you see, although malaysia is formed on that date, it is also merdeka to the East Malaysians. before they joined malaysia they are under british rule. when they join malaysia they "merdeka" loh..

but i agree with shan, y get angry over the dates?

i think the most amicable solution will be celebrating "Hari Malaysia" more grandly.

{disclaimer: i'm a very patriotic person)

what i say here might contradict the disclaimer but i still have to say it. i dont get what is all the fuss about celebrating merdeka. as long as we know it and menghargai it in our hearts enough d lo. y wan waste so much money. i love my country and i have different ways of showing it.

amy2kyo said...

I'm not angry about it lah. Just got me thinking, that's all. Critical thinking mahhhhhh! :P

Kah Joon, like I said, we live in Peninsula, never knew how East Malaysians feel about this merdeka thingy. Right?

16 September is just as important as 31 August. One for the Peninsula (celebrated grandly) and the latter for the East Malaysia (who cares?).

No one give a damn about 16 September, true what Ash said, not even declared as a public holiday. Yah, pityness! Haha.

Carmen N said...

Hahahha... you guys crack me up! Of course, it is typical Malaysian thing to say that if there is no CUTI AM, means it is not grand or important! When in fact, if there is cuti am... what do we all do? Balik kampung, go to the mall... do everything BUT really reflect on Merdeka or Malaysia Merdeka, etc.

I agree with KJ on this ;-) And Shan too... it's not about the date really. For me, also being a PATRIOT (heheh), it is about taking the opportunity to really discuss, reflect about how far we have come and then plan for the future.

For all those people who only know how to reflect and then complain but have no future plans.... then, I hate to say it but why don't you migrate!!

As Haris Ibrahim, lawyer, once said: "You get the government you deserve."

The question is, do we deserve to have this govt? What have we done to protest policies we don't like?

KahJoon said...

DISCUSSION..thats the golden word..wat for cuti am or extravagant long as we discuss about the history and process of our independence and remember the sacrifice made..its more that enough d.