Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Merdeka! Malaysia Independence Day

It was 31st August 1957, 52 years ago, that Malaya achieved independence from British colonial rule. In Stadium Negara, Kuala Lumpur, the first Prime Minister, Tuanku Abdul Rahman, led in the famous proclamation, "Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!", which means freedom/independence. Since then, this multi-ethnic country in South East Asia was renamed Malaysia with the addition of Borneo states Sabah & Sarawak in 1963.

Today, Malaysia has a population of under 30 million mainly of Malay, Chinese & Indian ethnicity, with the major market centres in the Klang Valley (which includes the capital Kuala Lumpur & Petaling Jaya), Penang (Dell's factory is located here) in the north & Johor in the south. It enjoys good diplomatic relationships with neighbouring countries Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.

For tourists, among the places to visit would be the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur (until recently the tallest building in the world) and Melaka (our historical state). The main attraction to our country, apart from the diverse cultures, would be the food. This is the place to be if you enjoy exploring different types of cuisine. The currency exchange rate also makes Malaysia an attractive and affordable tourist destination for many.

To Malaysians, I wish you a Happy Merdeka! We have a long way to go, but let's strive for a better Malaysia for all Malaysians (and visitors, too!).

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