This was stated by the Minister of Local Government and Housing, Datuk Seri Hj Hajiji Hj Noor while launching the Membara Merdeka programme at Menkabong near here.
"On Aug 31, we celebrate Merdeka and on Sept 16, which is now a public holiday, we celebrate Malaysia Day.
No problem," he said, adding that Sabah indeed achieved independence from the British on Aug 31.
Chiding the opposition for raising the issue time and again, Hajiji, who is Sulaman Assemblyman, pointed out that even in America, states which joined the federation later celebrated Independence Day on July 4 together with the rest of the nation.
The Membara Merdeka programme, organised by the Tuaran Umno division headed by Hajiji, was held at the Mengkabong mosque compound where a gotong royong was held to clean up the compound.
There were also talks by officers from the Tatanegara Bureau and the Special Affairs Department based on this year's Merdeka Day theme "Di Sini Mulanya Sebuah Cinta".
The highlight of the programme was the flagging of a 100-strong motorcycle and bicycle convoy from Mengkabong to Tuaran which was also participated by about 30 members of the Larut (Perak) Umno Youth led by Amran Abd Rahman who are here for a goodwill visit.
Hajiji also distributed the Jalur Gemilang and Sabah flags to village headmen in and around Mengkabong.
Earlier, Hajiji urged the villagers to appreciate the meaning of Independence, adding that Independence is meaningless if there is no improvement or development.
In the case of Mengkabong, the largely fishing community is now living in modern houses provided for by the government and this is the meaning of Independence, he added.
Also present were organising chairman Kassim Razali who is also Tuaran Umno vice-chairman, Wanita chief Jamaliah Antalip, District Officer A.M. Ibnu A.K. Baba and District Chief OKK Daud Sedek.