Coming in at second place of countries with the most public holidays, Malaysia comes boasts up to 19 holidays in a calendar year; that’s how many paid public holidays that us Malaysians get!
Malaysians love their holidays and there are an abundant of things to do with all those time off. The month of August is often associated with national pride as it’s the month of the nations independence.
Merdeka Day and Malaysia Day are the two main holidays that we celebrate in August, and both of them are different and have different stories behind them. So, what exactly are these two holiday that seems to celebrate the same thing?
August 31st is pretty much a date that all Malaysians know off. It is celebrated throughout schools and the country ever since the country’s independence from British colonial rule in 1957.
Under the constitution, Merdeka day is the official National Day for the Country.
Hari Malaysia falls on September 16th, which commemorates the formation of the Malaysian Federation in 1963. It was the day where the Federation of Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore merged to form Malaysia.
Singapore separated from Malaysia in 1965 and eventually an independent country on August 9th 1965.
Hari Malaysia officially became a Malaysian public holiday in 2010.
Hari Merdeka in East Malaysia
Sabah and Sarawak only achieved independence in 1963, six years after Peninsular Malaysia was formed.
In 2016, the Sarawak government declared July 22nd as a Sarawak public holiday, declaring it Sarawak Independence Day”.
The Malaysian government has recently worked towards a more unified form of national independence. On top of declaring Malaysia Day a national holiday, less emphasis have been put on the years to which certain states have gained independence.
Although different areas have their own year of independence, we Malaysians love our holidays; what’s not to love about an extra day off to celebrate the country’s independence day anyway?