Today, the people and government of Malaysia celebrate their Hari Merdeka or Independence Day. It marks the day in 1957 when the Federation of Malay gained freedom from the British empire. The day is celebrated with much funfare. Independence Day observance is not complete without the seven shouts of “Merdeka!” initiated by the First Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, in 1957 at Dataran Merdeka.
Major cities throughout Malaysia, especially Kuala Lumpur have their own local celebrations for Hari Merdeka. Each Independence Day in Malaysia is given a logo and theme, usually a slogan that promotes ethnic unity. Malaysia has an eclectic mix of Malay, Indian, and Chinese citizens with different cultures, ideologies, and religions. For 2017, the theme is the theme Negaraku Sehati Sejiwa (My Country, United and Unified).
August is observed in Malaysia as Merdeka month. Most Malaysians express their patriotism by displaying the Malaysian flag, Jalur Gemilang, on their vehicles, in the balcony of their homes, and along the streets. Government buildings all over Kuala Lumpur and most shopping malls hoist the Malaysian flag.
Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia, just north of the equator. It shares land borders with Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, and Indonesia. It has exotic, tropical islands with beautiful beaches, rainforest, and national parks. Its capital is Kuala Lumpur, while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government.
The Philippines and Malaysian have a long history of cultural, political, and trade relations. The two countries are founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The Philippines maintains an embassy in Kuala Lumpur while Malaysia maintains an embassy in Makati City and a consulate general office in Davao City. Prime Minister Najib Razak visited the Philippines to attend the 30th ASEAN Summit in April, 2017, and the APEC Economic Leader’s Meeting in November, 2015. Just recently, Malaysian Minister of Foreign Affairs Anifah Aman attended the 50th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting hosted by the Philippines.
We greet the People and Government of Malaysia led by Prime Minister Najib Razak, on the occasion of its Independence Day anniversary.
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