The Story of Malaysia that Every Child Should Know

Nexus International School Blog
Aug 29, 2017
Fondly known as Hari Merdeka, we are counting the days to celebrate our yearly Independence Day in Malaysia. Widely celebrated on 31 August, Malaysians from all walks of life will gather at the Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka) in Kuala Lumpur to commemorate the momentous chapter in our history. As we raise our flags and sing our national anthem with pride, here are some of the ways you can share the story of Malaysia with your children.

1. How it all began?
Back in the days, Malaysia was formerly known as the Federation of Malaya. During the 1950s, the nation experienced a time when freedom was yearned for and patriotism was at its peak. There were many political leaders who stood up for Malaya’s independence and the most prominent was Tunku Abdul Rahman. He successfully led a mission to negotiate for Malaya’s independence and the first Merdeka proclamation began on 31 August 1957.

2. Who is our Father of Independence?
Our Father of Independence is Tunku Abdul Rahman who played a huge role in orchestrating and negotiating the road to Malaya’s independence. He was an important political leader who viewed unity as the strength that brings people and the whole nation together. ‘We are all Malaysians. This is the bond that unites us’ was one of his memorable quotes.
In 1956, Tunku Abdul Rahman and other political leaders began their journey where the Independence agreement was drafted and submitted to Lancaster House in London. A month later, the agreement was signed and the great news was shared by the entire nation. From there, a new chapter of an independent Malaya unfolds.

3. Where it all started?
The best way to immerse yourself in Malaysian history, visit the Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka) in Kuala Lumpur where it all began. Backed by the Sultan Abdul Samad building, it was the same field where the national flag of Malaya was raised for the first time. It also serves as the main venue for our annual national day parade. A short drive away from the Merdeka Square is the National Monument (Tugu Negara) that honours the brave Malaysians who fought for our country’s freedom. For an afternoon of history learning, you can check out the archive of Malaysia’s Merdeka timeline at the National Museum (Muzium Negara).

4. What happens during Merdeka Day?
Our national day parade is the perfect time to witness the colours and celebration of Malaysia’s Independence Day. While the main parade is traditionally held at the Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur (occasionally in Putrajaya), you can catch these parades in major capital cities in the country too. Join the locals and watch marching bands, float parades, cultural performances and civil-military marches pass you by. Major television channels and radio stations will also play patriotic songs all day. Our favourites are Jalur Gemilang that glorifies the colours of the national flag and Keranamu Malaysia that belts our love and devotion for our country.

5. What can your child do for our country?
Regardless of our nationality and ethnicity, embracing unity, diversity and harmony are the strings that tie us closer in Malaysia’s diverse community. With the Nexus Way, our learners can practice the qualities of Nexus Relationship that cultivates respect, positive relationships and community building. Within the school environment, the Nexus Inclusion also encourages the development of deep empathy and understanding of difference when communicating with friends from diverse backgrounds. When these pillars are practiced together, we can build a community that values togetherness and thus, honouring the significance of Merdeka in Malaysia.
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