Retired govt officer recalls the first Malaysia Day celebration

KUCHING: Retired civil servant Datuk Lim Kian Hock still remembers the first Malaysia Day and his participation in it.

As the administrative officer in Belaga, he had to make arrangements for the formation of Malaysia to be proclaimed on Sept 16, 1963.

The Union Jack was lowered on Sept 15 and the Malaysian flag raised in a ceremony the following day.

“We gathered government officers and community leaders at the Fort Vyner ground to prepare for the first Malaysia Day celebration.

“When the time came, I took the salute as the Malaysia flag was raised and read out the Malaysia Proclamation.

This was followed by a reception in Fort Vyner,” he recalled.

“As I was then a young officer, I hoped to be able to play a role to contribute to Sarawak, which is a partner in the formation of Malaysia.

“As any other citizen, I also wished to see progress.”

Lim, who is now chairman of the Sarawak Tourism Federation’s heritage development committee, said Sarawak had made a lot of progress in its economic, social and rural development since 1963 and contributed to Malaysia’s economic life.

He also said the significance of Malaysia’s formation and its history should be clearly promoted to the young generation throughout the nation.

“As Malaysians, we all hope that our nation will continue to progress economically and politically, with a culture of peace and unity as a multiracial nation,” he added.

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