Thursday, September 15, 2011

16 September 1963

Across the nation, the new Malaysian flag with its 14 stripes was ceremoniously unfurled for the first time. Thousands jammed the gaily-decorated streets of all 14 States to greet the new-minted nation of 10 million. In all States, colourful parades were held.

The high point for Singapore was a 5p.m. reading of the proclamation on the steps of City Hall. In Kuala Lumpur, an inaugural ceremony took place at 8.20a.m. In Jesselton (Kota Kinabalu), Sabah’s main city, and Kuching in Sarawak, official festivities began at 7.30a.m.

More than 20,000 had been gathering at the Merdeka Stadium in the Federal Capital since the early hours. At the stadium ceremony, Tunku Abdul Rahman said that “I cannot express how happy and grateful I am’ on ‘this auspicious and historic day.” But he called on Malaysians to defend the flag of the new nation ‘with all our strength, even if necessary with our lives’. 

In Sarawak’s capital Kuching, the proclamation was made by Federal government representative Mohamad Khir Johari, with Governor Datu Abang Haji Openg and Chief Minister Stephen Kalong Ningkan, and in Kota Kinabalu by Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Donald Stephens with Governor Tun Mustapha Harun and Deputy Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak. 

© Editions Didier Millet, 2007

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