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No more mentioning number of years
Published on: Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Kuching: Independence Day celebration is likely to be held without mentioning the number of anniversaries starting from next year, said Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

He said the suggestion had already been submitted to the Cabinet recently aimed at preventing the people in Sabah and Sarawak from feeling isolated if the number of independence anniversaries was stated.

"For example, the 57th Independence Day celebration, the people of Sarawak will say the celebration has no connection with us.

We gain our independence together with Malaysia in 1963 and (the celebration) is not relevant," he said.

He said this at a media conference, which was jointly held with state Second Minister of Resource Planning and Environment Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan after both ministers had a courtesy call on Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem here Monday.

"We will suggest that the Independence Day (celebration) will only be mentioned as Independence Day Aug 31 celebration. That's all," he said.

Ahmad Shabery said he had stated the suggestion to Adenan during the courtesy call and had asked that feedback from the people of Sarawak on the matter was obtained. He said the suggestion also took into consideration the manner in which the United States' independence day was being celebrated by only mentioning "the 4th of July celebration" even though from the historical aspect, the states under its umbrella achieved independence at different dates.

So far he had received positive feedback from the Sarawak state government and several local leaders on the suggestion and hoped to obtain similar reaction from the leaders and people of Sabah.

At the same time, Malaysia Day celebration every Sept 16 is likely to continue given that it has its own significance if the idea was implemented.

"I do not want big scale Independence Day celebrations to be frequently held in Kuala Lumpur, which is often described as marginalising the history of Sabah and Sarawak because we repeat (the mentioning of the anniversary year)," he said.

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