No national-level celebration of Malaysia Day 2008 – PM and Cabinet apology warranted

The first item of business in the Cabinet meeting tomorrow should be an apology from the Prime Minister and the Cabinet for no national-level celebration of Malaysia Day 2008 today, September 16, to commemorate the day 45 years ago when Malaysia was born.

If Pakatan Rakyat could celebrate May Day with a 20,000-people rally at the Kelana Jaya Stadium last night, when the Pakatan Rakyat is still the Opposition at the national level, there can be no acceptable reason why unlike in previous years, the Barisan Nasional federal government has failed to organise nation-wide celebration on September 16 today as Malaysia Day this year.

There is no more eloquent reminder to Malaysians, particularly the people of Sabah and Sarawak, than the Barisan Nasional (BN)’s failure to hold nation-wide celebrations for Malaysia Day this year, that Sabah and Sarawak have yet to be fully accepted and recognised as an integral part of Malaysian nation-building and developmental process.

After the March 8 “political tsunami”, it belatedly dawned on the Prime Minister as well as on Barisan Nasional politicians in Sabah and Sarawak that the BN MPs in the two states occupy a strategic “kingmaker” role determining the survival of Umno hegemony and Barisan Nasional federal government.

The Barisan Nasional suffered a severe thrashing in the March 8 general election, winning 140 seats against the Pakatan Rakyat’s 82. However, 54 of these BN parliamentary seats come from Sabah and Sarawak – Sabah 24 and Sarawak 30.

Without these 54 BN MPs from Sabah and Sarawak, BN would be reduced to 86 seats out of 222 MPs in Parliament, evicting the BN from Putrajaya and into the Opposition.

But what is the use of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy, Datuk Seri Najib Razak flying almost every week from the federal capital to Sabah and Sarawak when this unprecedented strategic “kingmaker” role of BN MPs from Sabah and Sarawak dawned after the March 8 “political tsunami”, promising new billion-ringgit development allocations and plum offices to Sabah and Sarawak politicians, if the federal government is not prepared to accord proper respect and recognition to September 16 every year as Malaysia Day!

Now, Abdullah and Najib are too busy to come to Sabah and Sarawak to celebrate Malaysia Day with Sabahans and Sarawakians!

The Barisan Nasional has stubbornly refused to declare Malaysia Day on September 16 as a national public holiday.
Pakatan Rakyat will do what the Barisan Nasional has failed to do – and September 16 next year will be a national public holiday if a Pakatan Rakyat government is installed in Putrajaya at the national level.

This will mean that Malaysia will have two National Days – August 31st as Merdeka Day and September 16 as Malaysia Day.

Malaysia will then join the rank of countries like India and Pakistan which commemorate two National Days a year as national public holidays.

(Speech at the Sabah DAP forum “Malaysia – Towards A New Era” at the Kian Kok Middle School hall, Kota Kinabalu on Tuesday, 16th September 2008)

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 7:31 am

    Maybe PM and Cabinet think Sabah and Sarawak are not important to Malaysia.

  2. #2 by lew1328 on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 7:32 am


    All Malaysian is looking forward for two holidays which falls on 916 & 831 repectively and why not if it’s unite Malaysian fellows further.

  3. #3 by k1980 on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 7:36 am

    To prevent his 31 cross-over MPs from being arrested under the isa, Anwar should place them inside the Turkish embassy and then only announce their names. The 31 MPs can verify their cross-over to PR via live video to the whole country. Then its time to get Dolah under the isa

  4. #4 by michael13 on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 7:56 am

    Dolah under the ISA; Botak under the SSA(Secret Society Act) is a good combination. Botak used to talk like gangster.

  5. #5 by Malaysia For ALL Malaysians on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 8:32 am

    No surprises!!! this is the way that BN had all the time being working more so under the rule of TDM, just take care of the minority who have power to influence the others and the rest will be taken care of naturally. My condolences to the Malaysians in Sabah and Sarawak!! After all it took most West Malaysians 51 years to know the tricks of BN what more the hard way, with all the censorship right from MEDIA to everything u can think off so what, about our brothers across the sea, more so !!!

    “Katak dibawah tempurung” attitude not by choice or ignorance but by force of BN !!!! What more with the new meaning of ISA a tool to apply what you want rather then by Rule of LAW!!!!

    So once again my condolences to Malaysians of Sabah and Sarawak!!!

  6. #6 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 9:40 am

    Yesterday -September 16- would have been celebrated as Malaysia Day 2008 (even though not a national holiday) had Pakatan Rakyat’s supremo Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim make good his repeated pledge to form the government by that date instead of dealing with polemics and preconditions (also set by him) as to who to see first, the PM or the Yang di Pertuan Agong.

    The PM said this in relation to Anwar, that if he had the numbers, he would not be seking a meeting with him but “he’ll storm into my room with hundreds following behind him, screaming victory” (I am sure armed with appropriate defections documentation) – NST Sept 17 page 2.

    Anwar said he was seeking a formal meeting with PM as a conciliatory and respectful gesture to discuss power transfer.

    Well the PM has thrown the gauntlet. He says he does not believe you have the numbers. He says he does not want to meet up with you. He even pre-empts the fact that you could uncereminiously storm into his rom with the numbers. It looks like PM has given Anwar the liberty to waive protocal to storm into his room with the “number”. So why does Anwar hesitate to storm into his room so to speak if he has the “numbers” of kataks????

    We have yet to hwear a satisfactory response from Anwar on this point.

  7. #7 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 9:46 am

    The trouble is Sabahans and Sarawakians did not voice their objections right from the beginning to the national celebration on 31.8, rather than rightfully on 16.9.

    They have been forced to celebrate 31.8, a date that has no meaning to them! Truly mon cha cha and being made a fool by the BN!

    51 years of independence! What rubbish, when they experienced only 45 years of independence! Certainly their grandchildren will say that their acestors did not know how to count beyond the fingers and toes that they had!

  8. #8 by anakMCI on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 9:50 am

    I am wondering why the MPs from East Malaysia are still so quite and “timid” (except few who are real heroes, speak for his/her own people in Sabah and Sarawak)

    The scenario is so clear now
    Are you still sitting on the fence??
    Are you preferred to be ignored? (beside this temporary billions allocations)
    Are you ignoring the wish of fellow Malaysian in East Malaysia??

    Forget about BN
    They are sinking……..

  9. #9 by La Pax on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 10:00 am

    k1980, brilliant idea!!!

  10. #10 by WhiteLittleDevil on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 10:41 am

    Uncle Kit, thank you for speaking up for the Sabahans & Sarawakians. Yes, Sept 16 is much more anticipated as a national celebration because my ancestors only get to merdeka 6 years later in 1963. I second to Uncle Kit that August 31 should be observed as independence day for all Malaysians, while Sept 16 as Malaysia Day! Raise hands raise legs agree!

    The trouble isn’t with the Sabahans & Sarawakians who didn’t voice their will or they are ‘mon cha cha’, but a matter of restricted channel to speak their heart & thoughts.

  11. #11 by alancheah on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 11:21 am

    VIVA Pakatan Rakyat.
    We will support you ALL the time!

  12. #12 by Captain on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 11:25 am

    3 Cheers. For the first time we feel all malaysians ‘berdiri sama tinggi, duduk sama rendah’ with our brothers, sisters and friends from Sabah and Sarawak. Thanks Pakatan. Welcome Sabah and Sarawak formally, emotionally and spiritually from our bottom of our hearts.

    It is time they stop listening to frogs like Pairin and ‘firaun’ like Taib who has been ruling the state as if it belonged to his father. These and the like had ‘sold’ your rights and privileges to the BN Govt who onlu used you to amass power and wealth at your cost.

    Sabah and Sarawak should reject the present overtures of projects as BN is fighting for survival. Tell the BN Govt. you cannot be bought so cheap. And this happens because of Pakatan pressure and hardwork and sacrifices. Bring the present Govt. down and you not only do yourself a favour, but also to all malaysians who yesterday finally ’embraced’ you vide 916 as equal malaysians.

    Tell the BN Govt. you cannot be fooled anymore.

  13. #13 by max2811 on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 11:41 am

    Dear YB,
    I am quite fedup of ppl asking for apologies. First, it was the moron Ahmad and now the Msian Gov. Why is it that an apology is so important?

    It has been on so many other occasions when something that is not right, someone will cry for an apology. Pls grow up. If anything is done wrong under the law, charge them in court. Not demand an apology which is frequently not forthcoming.

    You can criticise, scold or boycott, but pls don’t ask for an apology. To demand for one, means the person might not be sincere in apologising(if he does apologise). Any apologies should not be demanded but given out of remorse and knowing and acknowledging one has done wrong. Then, it is sincere.

  14. #14 by gofortruth on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 12:25 pm

    916 – To say UMNO was panic stricken yesterday is a gross understatement judging from:-
    1) The way they packed away BN MPs on the “Blur Blur study trip” in haste;
    2) The sensational PR rally at the kelana Studium a night before.
    I dare say this ‘National day” issue was not even on their mind.

    1) claimed the letter sent to him only talked about current situation in the country and nothing was mentioned about handing over of federal government.
    2) Challenged Anwar to disclose the names if they really have the NUMBERS.

    Its very obvious that AAB does not want a meeting with Anwar even if PR has the numbers. I think it is imperative that Pakatan Rakyat issues a public press statement to the effect that
    1) PR has the numbers to take over the Federal government;
    2) the purpose of meeting AAB is for him to accept & effect a graceful, peaceful and democratic transition of federal power.
    State very clearly that the responsibilty of public peace rests in AAB’s hand. Refusal to meet on AAB’s part would mean leaving PR no choice but to go to the Agong.

    AAB called Anwar a LIAR regarding “the letter to him” and “the numbers” yesterday and I think there should be a sound response to that from Anwar.

  15. #15 by penang308 on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 12:42 pm

    How can people from Sabah and Sarawak BE SO IMPORTANT TO the bEeND “Racist” Government!

    They (“bEeND”) especially the “UMNO” are TUAN and the rest are the SLAVE! That is why there can never be EQUAL!

    They only interest in the natural resources and the “SEAT in Parliment” from Sabah and Sarawak, NOT THE PEOPLE! If there are shortage of human resources in Penisular, they will imported from Indonesia!

    So, to all MP from East Malaysia, PLEASE WAKE-UP

  16. #16 by penang308 on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 12:47 pm

    They “NEGARAKU” sang by the 20,000 crowd at Stadium Kelana Jaya on the eve of 916 IS THE BEST NEGARAKU I ever heard in my life.

    Bravo! to PR and all those who present there.

  17. #17 by lofuji on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 12:52 pm

    I reckon this must be the Game Plan.1st get AAB to agree to hand over the fed gomen to PKR.They will then rule for say,6months. After which they will have to call snap elections.This will determine, once and for all, the gomen that is elected by the PPL,for the PPL.THat way we wont have political instability and investors would not be scared away.
    My 2sen worth.

  18. #18 by AsalUsuLMalaysia on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 1:01 pm

    Max i think YB knows that, just like we ask politely or forcefully doesn’t make any sense. But the moral are same, make the person who apologised know by his mistakes and learn from the mistakes.

    Everyone deserve a right to defend themselves if they didn’t make any mistakes. But in AI case, he just a disgrace to our nation that carries a tittle of being RACIST umnoputra.

  19. #19 by taiking on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 1:10 pm

    Star Online today, Wed, 17 Sept 2008:

    Quoting ka ting: “To prevent possible future abuse of the ISA, the central committee calls for a comprehensive review of the ISA so that it will apply strictly to cases relating to terrorism and subversive elements.”

    His statement speaks volume.

    First, he was previously a parliamentary secretary of the Home Ministry and subsequently the Deputy Home Minister. So he knows very well what ISA is all about and what the umno government has done under the guise of that Act.

    Secondly, he used the word “abuse” and said it in the context of preventing “possible further abuse”. In other words, he is saying that (1) the Act has been abused before; (2) the abuse will continue further; and (3) further abuses of the Act must be prevented.

    The statement was made in relation to the detention of teresa and rpk and which detention he objected; and he demanded for their immediate release or charge if there are sufficient evidence. Against this background, it would be a reasonable conclusion to draw that ka ting too is of the view that teresa and rpk’s detention under the ISA is an abuse of power.

    If he holds the same view as the opposition, then he should really follow in the foot steps of zaid and ask mca to leave bn.

  20. #20 by wahai kawan on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 2:08 pm

    Dear LKS,

    Perhaps it may sound a bit harsh to demand an apology. Please don’t get me wrong. It’s like telling a person what to do based on a matter of difference in opinion on a holiday issue. You are right in a way but nevertheless this may sound like a bit demanding as well as coming from a dominant position. Some may even view this is a grid lock type of management… Learn to love, give & take and let life live

    Nevertheless I believe this is a good start for a unique celebration that has been longed awaited for by all Malaysians….

  21. #21 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 2:32 pm

    taiking Says:
    Today at 13: 10.40 (55 minutes ago)

    Star Online today, Wed, 17 Sept 2008:

    Quoting ka ting: “To prevent possible future abuse of the ISA, the central committee calls for a comprehensive review of the ISA so that it will apply strictly to cases relating to terrorism and subversive elements.”

    Don’t be misled by Ong Ka Ting’s statement. Malaysiakini (Chinese Edition) reported that no incumbent MCA ministers dared highlight the detention of Teresa Kok and RPK – their comments on the ISA referred only to the detention of Sin Chew reporter Ms Tan. This shows that the current incumbent MCA leaders are still subservient to the “big-guy” i.e. UMNO in the BN coalition.

    On the contrary, non-incumbent MCA members, such as Chua Jui Meng and Chua Soi lek, were more daring to speak out on the detention of Teresa Kok and RPK.

    I have more respect for the two Chua’s than for Ong Ka Ting.

  22. #22 by concerned_citizen on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 2:32 pm

    Sabah and Sarawak are just puppets to the PM and DPM. Nothing more. If we are going to to a survey (a real one, not bogus like those happened in GE), majority of the orang asal of Sabah and Sarawak have already denied BN. Why are they still in BN, thanks to their leaders who are already part of the corrupted BN.

  23. #23 by Jibai on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 4:36 pm

    Malaysia no hope edi! Let war to restart everything from the basics.

  24. #24 by ktteokt on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 8:55 pm

    Sabah and Sarawak are not puppets but POOR ORPHANS at the mercy of BN and UMNO!

  25. #25 by lopez on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 9:31 pm

    Sabahans and Sarawakians -are you as desperate as you think you are.

  26. #26 by lopez on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 - 9:49 pm

    Why the swap, is it because it is more convenient for See I M bee

    Sorry lah baodowi , staying behind the armour barricade cannot change anything , you are gone, do malaysia good , be brave sit down , go yachting.

    Dissolve the hum lan club and disperse , take a holiday you feellsa were given a chance for 50 years and you made it worse.

    Let the new aspirations of malayans move forward. it is not your fault you are just the receiving guy, the problem started by others,

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