The National Day of Malaysia is on the 31 August (Hari Merdeka, independence (within the Commonwealth) from the United Kingdom 1957) and 16 September (Malaysia Day, the formation of Malaysia). See below the history of Malaysia. This makes for an interesting read on a brief history of Malaysia.
National Day of Malaysia
The National Day of Malaysia, also known as Hari Merdeka (Independence Day), is celebrated on August 31st every year. It marks Malaysia’s independence from British colonial rule in 1957. See also the history below when Malaysia and Singapore. See the article on National Day of Singapore.
The road to Independence for Malaysia was very difficult. This started in the 1940s after the end of WWII. With rising nationalism in Malaya which Malaysia was called before. There was then the Malayan Communist Party who showed up. They ran insurgency against the British colonial government.
With all of this the British colonial government started to transfer power to the locals. This gradual push to hand over power became known as the Malayan Union. Initially rejected by the Malaysians. They saw this as a threat to their sovereignty and cultural identity. Then a new proposal was made which then came the Federation of Malaya. This was agreed too. There was now more autonomy but still under British control. This specifically the defense and foreign affairs parts of government.
The Federation of Malaya was established in 1948. The communist insurgency however continued throughout the 1950s which lasted for about 10 years. Religious and ethnic issues also raised it shead. This threatened to derail the independence issues. Negotiations continued with the British. Then on the 31st August 1957, the Federation of Malaya became an independent nation.
Finally since then, Malaysia has gone through significant changes and has become a modern, prosperous nation. The national day of Malaysia has remained the 31 August each year.
Public Holidays in Malaysia
Here is a list of public holidays in Malaysia:
- New Year’s Day – January 1st
- Chinese New Year – two days in January or February (exact dates vary according to the lunar calendar)
- Thaipusam – usually in late January or early February
- Federal Territory Day – February 1st (only celebrated in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, and Labuan)
- Labour Day – May 1st
- Wesak Day – usually in May or June
- Hari Raya Aidilfitri (Eid al-Fitr) – two days in May or June (exact dates vary according to the Islamic calendar)
- Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s Birthday – June 4th (or the nearest Monday if it falls on a weekend)
- Hari Raya Haji (Eid al-Adha) – usually in July or August
- National Day – August 31st
- Malaysia Day – September 16th
- Awal Muharram (Islamic New Year) – usually in September or October
- Deepavali (Diwali) – usually in October or November
- Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday – usually in October or November
- Christmas Day – December 25th
Finally please note that some of these dates may vary slightly from year to year.