Did you know there is a difference between the Independence Day (Merdeka) celebrated on 31st August and Malaysia Day celebrated on 16th September?
The coast of Sabah (via Google Images)
31st August 1957 is the day where Malaysia gained independence from colonial powers and declared Merdeka.
After much political, geographical shuffling, (link to Wikipedia here). On 16th September 1963, the Federation of Malaysia was formed including the states of Sabah and Sarawak, which is celebrated as Malaysia Day.
Did You Know? It was only until recently in 2010, where it was decided that Malaysia Day should be celebrated nationwide!
Here are 4 interesting things you may know (or not know) about Sabah and Sarawak!
Q1: Sarawak is also known as?
(a) The Red Land
(b) The Eagle Land
(c) The Land of the Hornbills
(d) The Forest Land
Answer: The Land of the Hornbills (Bumi Kenyalang)
It is a feature of the State symbol and it is deeply rooted in the indigenous culture of local tribes, Dayak, and also represents a symbol of good omen if flying over the house!
Q2: The Land Below the Wind is referred to the State of ?
(c) North Borneo
Answer: Sabah (Negeri di bawah bayu)
Due to its location just south of the typhoon-prone region around the Philippines!
Q3: What is the largest state in Malaysia?
Sarawak (124,450 km2) in red is almost equal to the size of the whole Peninsular Malaysia!
Q4: What is Malaysia's first UNESCO World Heritage Site?
(b) Crocodile Farm
(c) Kinabalu Park
(d) Sipadan Island
Answer: Kinabalu Park (Taman Kinabalu)
Malaysia's first heritage site designated by UNESCO in December 2000 for its "outstanding universal values" and the role as one of the most important biological sites in the world with more than 4,500 species of flora and fauna!