"Mangkang Menua,Mangkang Dunya,Ngetan Ke Bansa!!"

August 14, 2011

It is time to stop buying into a lie.

Taken from Being Vernon

Dear Reader,

May I be honest?

I am sad. I am sad because I am told by my government that I must celebrate the Independence Day of my country on the 31st of August. But what is so wrong about this that it makes me sad?

Let me tell you. If you don’t like dry and boring history lessons, you can leave my blog now. But if you have ten minutes to spare, read on.

The Federated States of Malaya which comprised all the nine Sultanates, Malacca and Penang were given their independence by Great Britain on the 31st of August, 1957. The photo below records the historic event. It is the iconic image of Tunku Abdul Rahman proclaiming independence for Malaya. Yes, MALAYA. Not Sarawak, not Sabah, but MALAYA. And this date became known as MERDEKA DAY. For the Federated States of MALAYA.

 

Then, six years later, Sarawak was given her independence. On the 22nd of July, 1963. Bet you didn’t know that the 22nd of July is an historic date for Sarawak, huh? Of course you wouldn’t. It has probably been wiped off the official history text books, or glossed over during history classes. But if you buy a copy of the Sarawak Government Almanac, it’s there in black and white. The British gave up Sarawak on the 22nd of July, 1963 and on that day we became an independent nation. A country all of our own. Our own flag, our own anthem and even our own money!

Then, twenty five days later, after the British granted her independence, Sarawak, together with Sabah, Singapore, and the Federated States of Malaya came together to form a new nation called MALAYSIA on the 16th of September. This date, the 16th of September, 1963, came to be known as MALAYSIA DAY because it was on this historic day that a brand new country was born in the world. (Singapore got ‘kicked out’ later but Malaysian history books politely claim she decided to withdraw from the new nation. Brunei was also involved in the discussions to form Malaysia but it too decided against the idea.)

However, gradually, Malaysia Day became forgotten through, I suspect, a subtle and systematic process of brainwashing on the part of the Barisan Nasional government. More and more emphasis was placed on Merdeka Day and Malaysia Day was ignored, its significance eroded and displaced by Merdeka Day. Merdeka Day became a public holiday, and the whole country began to get caught up in celebrations come every 31st August.

Young Sarawakian school children were, and still are taught to wave flags and jump for joy come 31st August because on this date Malaysia achieved her independence. Now if you have been paying attention, you will obviously have noticed that there is a factual error in the previous sentence. Malaysia DID NOT achieve her independence on the 31st of August, 1957 simply because Malaysia had not existed yet! It was only Malaya which achieved her independence on the 31st of August, 1957; Malaysia was only formed six years AFTER Malaya achieved independence.

The date 31st of August means nothing to me as a Sarawakian and yet I am told by my government to honour this date on the basis that I am a citizen of Malaysia and therefore as a proud and loyal Malaysian, I should jump and shout for joy that Malayans received their independence on the 31st of August despite the fact that I am also a Sarawakian and this date has absolutely no value to me. This date did not affect my beloved Sarawak in any way whatsoever and has never been part of its rich history, so what is there to celebrate or what memory is there to honour and cherish? Sarawak achieved her independence on the 22nd of July but the government does not give this date any due recognition. Instead, I am to celebrate a date which has more significance for my fellow Malaysians in West Malaysia. That is why I am sad.

Malaysia Day, the 16th of September, 1963, however, means a lot to me. It was the date my beloved Sarawak became a part of a new nation, standing tall and proud in the world amongst other independent nations. Shouldn’t this date when we officially became a country take centre-stage in our history as a nation?

And yet, it was only last year that the Barisan Nasional government decided to recognise Malaysia Day and grant it ‘public holiday’ status. And only because Pakatan Rakyat ‘reminded’ the BN government. It actually took the BN government forty-seven years to recognise Malaysia Day officially!

But the question on my mind is why did the BN government try to sweep Malaysia Day under the carpet and dispatch it to the annals of history to be conveniently forgotten? And why do I suspect that there is a conspiracy going on to distort and blur the story of the formation of Malaysia?

Let me draw your attention to the opening paragraph of a blog entry dated 15th September, 2009, by Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak. He wrote,

“On this day (16 September) forty-six years ago, Malaysia welcomed Sabah and Sarawak as states and set out on a course toward becoming one of the leading nations in the world. I was only 10 years old when my father, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, witnessed the historic proclamation of Sabah’s independence in 1963, but I remember how proud he was during that momentous occasion. Sabah and Sarawak occupy a special place in my heart because of that history.”

Spot the offending sentence? “Malaysia welcomed Sabah and Sarawak as states.” The Prime Minister of Malaysia, no less, officially writes in his official blog that Sabah and Sarawak were welcomed INTO a country called Malaysia in 1963!

Not only is this sentence factually wrong (as Malaysia was actually formed on that very day and you cannot ‘welcome’ other states into an entity which would need those very states to form it in the first place in order to welcome anything into), but it is also a blatant re-writing of history! Sabah and Sarawak were not just states of a larger country, Mr. Prime Minister; Sabah and Sarawak were INDEPENDENT COUNTRIES and EQUAL PARTNERS to Malaya!

But if you were to believe the Prime Minister writing in his blog, Sabah and Sarawak were only states that joined an already existing country! Surely the Prime Minister of Malaysia would know history and know how his own country was formed? And if he genuinely made a mistake, surely one of his many advisers and staff members would quickly alert him to the fact and correct the glaring mistake? Or did they not know too, and if so, it begs a more disturbing question: is our country being runned by incompetent people who do not know the history of their own country? Truth be told, I suspect no one made a mistake.

It is plain that history is deliberately being re-written. But why? Two glorious words: Malaysia Agreement.

The Barisan Nasional government wants us to forget that there is such a thing as the Malaysia Agreement. It wants us to forget because the Malaysia Agreement specifies very clearly that Sabah and Sarawak have certain rights and privileges enshrined in the 18-Point (Sarawak) and 20-Point (Sabah) Agreements respectively. Sabah and Sarawak, both independent countries, came together as equal partners with Malaya to form Malaysia with pre-conditions attached. And these pre-conditions would empower Sabah and Sarawak. Empowerment is a frightening thing to the BN. It does not like to empower anyone except itself. Now more so than ever, it needs Sabah and Sarawak to retain its majority in Parliament and cling on to power. So to give power to Sabah and Sarawak is a very frightening idea to the BN government. So what does it do? It re-writes history and hopes that Sabahans and Sarawakians forget. It teaches Sabahan and Sarawakian school children to celebrate the 31st of August as Malaysia’s Independence Day whilst remaining deafeningly mute on the 16th of September. It uses newspapers, television and colourful parades to brainwash the masses into believing the lie that it assiduously propagates – that Malaysia gained independence on the 31st of August, 1957; when in actual fact Malaysia had not yet existed.

But all is not lost. You and I can change the situation. We can bring honour back to the 16th of September and accord it the significance it rightly deserves. More importantly, you and I can honour the Malaysia Agreement and return power to Sabah and Sarawak. Did you know that the Pakatan Rakyat has made a very important pledge to the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak?

Respecting the position of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners in the Malaysian Federation, and honouring previous agreements made, Pakatan Rakyat pledges to restore autonomy to Sabah and Sarawak in line with and within the framework of the Federal Constitution and the Federation Agreement.

Yes. A Pakatan Rakyat government will honour the Malaysia Agreement. (The Federation Agreement is basically the Malaysia Agreement.) This pledge is contained in the Buku Jingga, the book of policy pledges by the Pakatan Rakyat. You can download the Buku Jingga in English HERE. If you, like me, love Sarawak and want to see her powers and status as an equal partner restored, you will know what to do come the 13th General Election.

Back to the Prime Minister’s blog entry, which you can read HERE. If you continue reading the blog entry, you will see that the whole purpose of the entry was to appease Sabahans and Sarawakians. Wasn’t it ironic that in trying to appease us, he actually made us feel even more displeased, thinking us illiterate idiots with short memories?

So when is our nation Malaysia’s Independence Day? There simply isn’t one. Our nation Malaysia never achieved independence. Our nation Malaysia was born out of the coming together of three individual nations already independent BEFORE they formed Malaysia.

And let us be clear once and for all. Sarawak never JOINED Malaysia because there was no Malaysia to join in the first place. Sarawak joined Malaya and Sabah to FORM Malaysia. Never forget that. Teach it to your children.

I will fly my Jalur Gemilang proudly on the 16th of September. Not on the 31st of August. It is time to stop buying into a lie.

P.S. If the Barisan Nasional is genuinely not guilty of subtle and systematic brainwashing and never willfully schemed to displace Malaysia Day with Merdeka Day (and my entire argument about the insidious plot to wipe the Malaysia Agreement from memory is therefore in tatters), then the Barisan Nasional is guilty of a far graver and greater sin – absolute and unadulterated ARROGANCE; the significance of Malaya’s independence far outweighs that of Malaysia’s formation and birth and to hell with what Sabah or Sarawak might think. And that means we’re well and truly screwed.

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