MELAKA: The Independence Declaration Memorial Square was chosen as the venue for the Malaysia Day celebration to evoke the historic moment when the country was told it would become an independent nation, says state unity, information, human resources and consumer affairs committee chairman Ngwe Hee Sem.

The location was where the first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, announced to the nation that the Independence Agreement had been signed and Malaya would become an independent country on Aug 31, 1957.“That moment then became the starting point for the establishment of Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963,” he said.

Ngwe said the historic moment would be showed in a performance during the Malaysia Day celebration on Friday.

“The segment features the scenario where the proclamation of independence was made and a diorama of Tunku Abdul Rahman arriving in an antique car with his entourage,” he said.

He said the selection of the fashion of the 1950s and 1960s as the theme for the celebration was apt as it would give a picture of the country at that time.

“From a historical perspective, Melaka has many sociopolitical legacies.

“Historically, Melaka served as a transit or stopover for traders from all over the world. In 2008, Melaka was declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) as a World Heritage City.

“The recognition of this world body makes Melaka a unique and special state,” he added.

Ngwe said having the celebration in Melaka also highlighted the various ethnic groups in the state, such as the Baba and Nyonya, Sikh, Chetti, Portuguese and Orang Asli, thus reflecting the unity of the people which is a symbol of the Malaysian Family.

“This is evident through the recitation of the Rukun Negara by 14 individuals representing the diverse community of the Malaysian Family, to be led by a recipient of the Tokoh Guru award, Abd Rani Embi,” he added. — Bernama