KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia Day will not be declared a public holiday.
Information Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir said the country already has too many holidays and it was not necessary to make Malaysia Day, which falls on Sept 16, a public holiday.
Commenting on a recent call by several Sabah leaders in urging the Federal Government to give Malaysia Day more recognition, Kadir said it was unnecessary to continue the debate on the country’s independence and celebrations.
The Sabah leaders have said that Malaysia’s Independence was on Sept 16, 1963, when Sabah and Sarawak joined the federation, and not Aug 31, 1957 when Malaya obtained independence.
“It’s a fact that Peninsular Malaysia gained independence on Aug 31, 1957, and Sabah together with Sarawak gained independence on Sept 16, 1963.
“But that is not important. What is important is that we are a free country.
“Let us not split hairs and try to break the unity among us. Let us look at the areas of agreement and realise the fact that we are one big happy family.”
Kadir had earlier received the state’s highest award, the Seri Panglima Darjah Kinabalu (SPDK), from Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah.
He said the Federal Government valued Sept 16 as a historically important moment and this was reflected in the month-long Merdeka celebrations from Aug 17 to Sept 17 every year.
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