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ONE’s debate on Malaysia Day or Merdeka Day

NATIONAL DAY_MERDEKA

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – Sept 10, 2015: Whether Malaysia Day holds more significance than Merdeka Day has always been a moot point amongst Malaysians.

This year, in order to find the answer the Organisation for National Empowerment (ONE) decided to organise a written debate titled ‘Malaysia Day is more significant than Merdeka Day’.

ONE, via the debate’s official website explained that Malaysia has always placed greater emphasis on Merdeka Day (celebrated on Aug 31) as opposed to Malaysia Day (Sept 16).

“However, as of late, it has been argued that the latter carries equal or greater importance than the former. A myriad of arguments can be brought forth as to which has greater significance,” said a statement by ONE..

“This issue has attracted more attention after the Prime Minister announced for Sept 16 to be a national holiday, after a question and answer session in Parliament, having taken in the views of those representing the people, including those of Sabah and Sarawak.

“The excess use of taxpayers’ money has also been contentious, as the high cost of celebrating two national days is detrimental to the country, the opportunity cost of one being a working day.

“It has also been argued that having two national days has severe negative impact on national unity.

“Without surety as to the more important date, the public would be confused as to which date they should place more effort in celebrating, and in time slowly making public opinion more divisive.

“It is often the case that a country only celebrates one national day for maximum impact and unity.

“A very subjective issue, as to whether Malaysia should continue to celebrate both national days, or to place more emphasis on one.”

The debate will commence on Sept 12 to 16 and will be moderated by ONE’s head of Mature Democracy Alia Aishah.

Representing the concuring side is Youth Parliament infrastructure, development and environment committee chairman Rahman Hussein while the representative of the opposing side is Umno Youth young professional bureau committee member Adam Reza.

Netizens were invited to give their opinion on the debate.

Currently, the pre-debate poll regarding the debate indicates that Malaysians agreed that Malaysia Day is more important than the celebration of Merdeka Day.

So far, out of 76 voters, 55 per cent have voted ‘Yes’ whereas 45 per cent have voted ‘No’.

For more information, visit the debate’s official website.

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About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at [email protected]