The Independence day
Malaysia Independence day is also known as The Merdeka day. It refers to the day when the Federation of Malaya officially gain its independence from the British Empire.
The independence declaration was read by the first Chief Minister of Malaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman at the Merdeka Stadium in the presence of thousands of people including Malay Rulers, members of the federal government, and foreign dignitaries.
To commemorate the event, Hari Merdeka was declared a national holiday in Malaysia and observed annually on 31 August.
The effort for independence was spearheaded by Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia. Tunku led a delegation of several political leaders from alliance party to London in order to negotiate for Malaya independence. Along with Tunku was first president of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) Tun Dato Sir Tan Cheng Lock and fifth President of Malaysian Indian Congress Tun V. T. Sambanthan.
On the eve of 30 August 1957, the crowds gathered at the Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur to witness the handover of power from the British. The people were observing two minutes of darkness before the lights were switched back on when the clock strikes twelve.
The Union Jack was lowered and the new flag of Malaya was raised as the national anthem Negaraku was played. This was followed by seven chants of "Merdeka" by the crowd. Tunku Abdul Rahman later gave a speech hailing the ceremony as the "greatest moment in the life of the Malayan people".
On the morning of 31 August 1957, the celebration moved to Merdeka Stadium. More than 20,000 people attended the ceremony, which began at 9:30 a.m. Those in attendance included rulers of the Malay states, foreign dignitaries, members of the federal cabinet, and the citizens of Malaya. The Queen's representative presented Tunku Abdul Rahman with the instrument of independence.
Tunku then proceeded to read the Proclamation of Independence, which culminated in the chanting of "Merdeka!" seven times with the crowd joining in. The ceremony continued with the raising of the National Flag of Malaya accompanied by the national anthem.
Image by: amrufm
Where to go?
In the morning, Merdeka parade is held annually along the road between the Sultan Abdul Samad Building and Merdeka Square.
At night, there are concerts held at several places like Merdeka Square, KLCC or KL Tower.
At the said day, most of the Kuala Lumpur Skyscrapers will light up their buildings at night with the colour of Malaysian Flag.
There are also fireworks performance held alongside with the concert.
Merdeka day is celebrated every 31st August annually.
Merdeka parade and the concert are usually free of charge.