Malaysian Declaration of Independence Day in Melaka in 2025

Malaysian Declaration of Independence Day in Melaka in 2025
Proclamation of Independence Memorial. Malacca City, Malacca, Malaysia. Image by Marcin Konsek
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Malaysian Declaration of Independence Day
  Dates of Malaysian Declaration of Independence Day in Melaka
2025 Thu, Feb 20Regional Holiday
2024 Tue, Feb 20Regional Holiday

Melaka. Marks the historic announcement of the Declaration of Independence in Melaka in February 1956.

  Local name
Hari Pengisytiharan Tarikh Kemerdekaan

In April 2023, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh announced that Melaka will observe the Malaysian Declaration of Independence Day as a public holiday in the state.

He said the one-day public holiday has been approved by the state government and will take effect in 2024 to commemorate the day of the country's declaration of independence in Bandar Hilir in the state.

"The existing (general) holiday we transfer on the public holiday of Malaysia's Independence Declaration Day... existing holidays in Melaka are not added and are not reduced. 

History of Malaysian Declaration of Independence

Malaya's independence began after the signing of the Malayan Independence Treaty signed by Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj on 8 February 1956 at Lancaster House, London to represent the Malayan government with Alan Lennox-Boyd, Secretary of the British Colonies on behalf of the British government.

The delegation, known as the Merdeka Entourage, was joined by four representatives of the ruling government and four representatives of the Malay Rulers who managed to obtain British approval to formally grant independence to Malaya on 31 August 1957 after three weeks of negotiations.

After achieving the country's independence through negotiations, the Merdeka entourage returned to Malaya from London on 16 February 1956 and arrived in Singapore at midnight on 19 February 1956.

Tunku Abdul Rahman had decided not to return to Kuala Lumpur the next day, instead deciding to stop by Malacca first to announce the date of independence of Malaya.

On the next day on February 20th 1956, history was created in Melaka when the Merdeka group left for Melaka and arrived at Batu Berendam Airport by boarding a Malayan Airways plane and was greeted with great fanfare by various levels of society.

The Merdeka entourage was paraded by a group of youths on motorbikes along with dozens of cars accompanying Tunku Abdul Rahman's entourage and Tunku stopped by to rest at Tan Cheng Lock's house in Klebang before continuing on to Padang Banda Hilir (now Dataran Pahlawan).

The much-anticipated historic moment of the people who flooded Padang Banda Hilir finally arrived when Tunku Abdul Rahman announced according to the agreement reached in London which decided that the Federation of Malaya would officially achieve independence on 31 August 1957.

Upon finishing the speech, Tunku chanted "Merdeka" three times and simultaneously with the announcement, shouts and chants of independence thundered in the sky of Padang Banda Hilir, Melaka with joy and gratitude.

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