August has always been a special, patriotic month for the citizens of this country, as right at the end of it is the day that generations of Malaysians proudly commemorate. On 31 August 1957, the last wisps of British rule vacated local soil, leaving behind a nation that millions have been calling their own since. 2020 marks the 63rd year of Merdeka – Independence in Malay – and it brims with activities to catch.
The theme for this year’s celebrations is ‘Malaysia Prihatin’, which translates to ’Caring Malaysia’. The rationale of this theme is based on the current goings-on in the country, which has been impacted by COVID-19, and signifies Malaysians coming together to rise above, as well as initiatives by the government to help the nation pull through.
An official logo has also been selected for the occasion, one that resembles a heart symbol to match the theme. Filled with motifs lifted from the Malaysian Flag, it also has the recognisable stigma of the national flower, the hibiscus. Wondering how its predecessors looked like? Here’s 44 years’ worth of them in quick succession – check out this montage of Merdeka logos going all the way back to 1976!
Cheerful, Careful Celebrations
In line with the SOPs set by the government to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Merdeka programmes this year are in a hybrid/digital (a combination of physical and digital elements) form.
Among the main programmes under the Majlis Pelancaran Bulan Kebangsaan (National Month Launching Ceremony) and Kibar Jalur Gemilang (Fly The National Flag) initiatives that kicked off last month are the Prime Minister’s Mandate, Flag-Raising Ceremony, and the Launch of Info On Wheels (IOW).
IOW units have, since the middle of last month, been on the move nationwide, covering 153 districts from urban and rural community areas in the various states. They have been evoking the spirit patriotism through songs, messages, flag-waving and distribution efforts, Rukun Negara (national principles) and more, while also delivering messages related to COVID-19 prevention and other community PSAs.
A total of 3,060 IOW Merdeka programmes have been created for implementation this year across the 153 districts. In conjunction with the Merdeka and 57th Malaysia Day Celebrations (16 September 2020) are various competitions as well. These include Pertandingan Pidato Kenegaraan (National Speech Competition), Pertandingan Mewarna dan Melukis Sempena Bulan Kebangsaan 2020 (Colouring and Drawing Competition in Conjunction with National Month 2020), and Pertandingan Fotografi Klik@Merdeka 2020 (Klik Photography Contest@Merdeka 2020).
Click here to learn more about the programmes that have been lined up for this year’s Merdeka. You can also go on social media armed with the hashtags #MalaysiaPrihatin, #MerdekaMoment, #MalaysiakuMerdeka and #KibarJalurGemilang for a more kaleidoscopic view of the celebrations, while perhaps adding a few photos of your own to the mix as well!
WHEN 31 Aug