Everything you need to know about this year’s Merdeka and Malaysia Day logo, theme

‘Malaysia Madani Jiwa Merdeka’ (Malaysia Madani Spirit of Independence). That is the theme for this year’s independence and national day celebrations in Malaysia.

The theme is an extension of the government’s Madani slogan. Madani is an acronym made up of six core values – sustainability, prosperity, innovation, respect, trust, and compassion.

Ahead of this year’s Merdeka celebration on Aug 31, and Malaysia Day on Sept 16, the Information Department of Malaysia has released an explainer regarding the logo and theme.

What does the logo represent?

The logo is a stylised design of a hand, taking an oath, often seen when reading the Rukun Negara (National Principles). The colours on the logo represent those found on the Jalur Gemilang (Malaysian flag).

What do the symbols and the colours mean?

Stripes (in white and red) – Represent the five tenets of the Rukun Negara, based on the ideology of the country.

Crescent moon – Signifies Islam as the official religion of the federation.

Star – The 14 points on the star represent the 13 states, with one star representing the federal territories (Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, and Labuan).

Blue circle – Symbolises the unity among Malaysians.

Yellow crescent and star – Represent Malaysia as a constitutional monarchy.

Red – Reflects the brave spirit of Malaysians.

Blue – Symbolises the unity among Malaysians of different races.

White – This represents sincerity and peace of an independent nation.

What is the rationale of the theme?

Malaysia Madani encapsulates the six core principles explained earlier. Jiwa Merdeka, meanwhile, represents the independent spirit and love of Malaysians for this nation, manifested through unity, social cohesion, and a vibrant economy, creating a just, strong, and progressive society.

Brief history

After years of fighting for independence from the British, the three major ethnic groups – the Malays, Chinese, and Indians in Malaya came together under a united front – the Alliance Party. That led to the London Agreement, signed on Feb 8, 1956. Upon returning from London, the then Alliance Party leader, Tunku Abdul Rahman Al-haj, made a declaration of independence of Malaya at Padang Bandar Hilir, Melaka, on Feb 20, 1956. Malaya formally declared independence on Aug 31, 1957.

On May 27, 1961, Tunku Abdul Rahman suggested the merger between Malaya, Singapore, Sabah, Sarawak, and Brunei, to form a new country. Brunei opted out, while the rest joined, leading to the formation of Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963. Singapore left two years later to form its own independent nation.

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