On the night of 30 August 1957, gathered at the Merdeka Square (Padang Merdeka) in Kuala Lumpur to witness the handover of power from the British. Prime Minister-designate Tunku Abdul Rahman arrived at 11:58 p.m. and joined members of the Alliance Party’s youth divisions in observing two minutes of darkness.On the stroke of midnight, the lights were switched back on, and the Union Flag in the square was lowered.The new Flag of Malaya was raised as the national anthem Negaraku was played. This was followed by seven chants of “Merdeka” by the crowd. Tunku Abdul Rahman later gave a speech hailing the ceremony as the “greatest moment in the life of the Malayan people”. Before giving the address to the crowd, he was given a necklace by representatives of the Alliance Party youth in honour of this great occasion in history, with a map of Malaya inscribed on it. The event ended at one in the morning the next day.
On the morning of 31 August 1957, the festivities moved to the newly completed Merdeka Stadium. More than 20,000 people witnessed the ceremony, which began at 9:30 am. Those in attendance included rulers of the Malay states, foreign dignitaries, members of the federal cabinet, and citizens. The Queen’s representative, the Duke of Gloucester presented Tunku Abdul Rahman with the instrument of independence. Tunku then proceeded to read the Proclamation of Independence, which culminated in the chanting of “Merdeka!” seven times with the crowd joining in. The ceremony continued with the raising of the National Flag of Malaya accompanied by the national anthem being played by a military band and a 21-gun salute, followed by an azan call and a thanksgiving prayer in honour of this great occasion.
The day followed with the solemn installation of the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Rahman of Negeri Sembilan, at Jalan Ampang, and the first installation banquet in his honour in the evening followed by a beating retreat performance and a fireworks display. Sports events and other events marked the birth of the new nation.
Malaysia’s Independence Day is celebrated on 31 August. Also known as Merdeka Day (Freedom Day), this is Malaysia’s National Day.
Malaysia’s National Day is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.
In 2019 it falls on a Saturday. Due to this, some businesses may choose to follow Saturday opening hours.
Malaysia’s independence day is celebrated with much pomp and pageantry, signifying the unity of Malaysians of all races and creeds.
Towns and cities throughout the country are decorated with flags and shimmering lights.
The celebration centres on Merdeka Square in the morning, the starting point of a spectacular parade. His Majesty, the King, and government leaders sit among the thousands of spectators.
In a spirit of patriotism, office buildings, homes, and even vehicles proudly display the Malaysian flag.
Other activities held during this period include stage shows, competitions, and exhibitions.