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In the political consciousness of Malaysians in the peninsula, Merdeka always falls on Aug 31.  For Sabahans and Sarawakians, Malaysia achieved independence on Sept 16.

The story of Malaysia began with a schism, by a fluke of history. I remember the early history of Malaysia well, for I lived through it. It was a time of great confusion. Malaya and Singapore objected to the inclusion of Sabah and Sarawak into the new nation state of Malaysia.


The declaration of independence of Sabah and Sarawak was delayed for more than two weeks to allow time for the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission to complete its work by Sept 16, 1963. That was how we came to have two separate ‘Merdeka’...

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