Malaysian diplomats fly flag at Burj Khalifa to celebrate Independence Day
They also held posters saying #KamiAnakMalaysia (we are children of Malaysia).
Published: Mon 21 Aug 2017, 5:11 PM
Last updated: Mon 21 Aug 2017, 8:30 PM
Malaysian diplomats, trade officials and tourism attachés held a special photo session at the foot of Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, on Monday to drum up support for the celebration of the 60th Independence Day of Malaysia on August 31.
Malaysian consul-general Dato' Yubazlan Yusof said the event is part of a global campaign by the Malaysian foreign affairs department to take photos of Malaysians at various diplomatic posts which will be sent to their home country ahead of the Independence Day celebrations.
The Dubai-based Malaysian envoys carried their 'jalur gemilang' (national flag) and held posters saying #KamiAnakMalaysia (we are children of Malaysia) and Negaraku Sehati Sejiwa (My Country One Heart One Soul).
"We are doing this as part of the month-long Merdeka (Independence) celebration in Malaysia," Yusof told Khaleej Times. "We enourage our people to promote Malaysian 'oneness' and I encourage my compatriots in Dubai to symbolically wave the Malaysian flag in their hearts."
Yusof said: "Malaysians should not just regard 'jalur gemilang' as a piece of cloth. Malaysians in the UAE should express their pride for Malaysia by flying their flag deep inside their hearts not only in the month of August."
The top Malaysian envoy added that a motorcycle tour dubbed "Kembara Merdeka" (Independence Tour) will soon be held in Dubai to celebrate Malaysian independence while a bigger celebration is slated on September 22 to commemorate Hari Malaysia or Malaysia Day which falls on September 16
Malaysia gained independence on August 31, 1957 after 446 years of colonial rule. The Portuguese were the first European colonial powers to establish themselves on the Malay Peninsula after capturing Malacca in 1511 then the Dutch took over in 1641 before the British colonised Malaysia in 1786 while the Japanese briefly ruled Malaysia during the Second World War from 1942-1945. The rise of nationalism brought about the establishment of an independent and multi-ethnic Federation of Malaya on August 31, 1957.
Yusof said the theme for this year's Independence Day is 'Negaraku Sehati Sejiwa' which means 'My Country One Heart One Soul'. "I urge all Malaysians in the UAE to be united to defend the jalur gemilang" (national flag) and national sovereignty by casting aside differences including religion, race, and political ideology," he underlined.
Yusof emphasized that Malaysian expats should always abide by the UAE rules and regulations and make their country proud. "All Malaysians are urged to be thankful for the freedom, peace and unity that they are enjoying both in Malaysia and the UAE," he noted.
According to Yusof, Malaysia is one of the first countries to recognise the formation of the UAE. Malaysia and the UAE established bilateral relations back in 1971.
"Malaysia and UAE are almost identical. Both are multi-racial and multi-religious county where people from various background live and work happily. A lot of Malaysian businessmen came to UAE to seek opportunity and many of them were successful," Yusof said.
There are around 7,000 Malaysians living and working in the UAE and around 3,700 of them are based in Dubai. Most of the Malaysians are professionals in the field of oil and gas, engineering, banking and airline industry.
Meanwhile, Malaysia is a top tourist destination for UAE residents. Around 35,000 tourists from the UAE visited Malaysia last year. Trade between the two countries is also robust. Last year, trade between the UAE and Malaysia reached $5.36b (Dh19.69b) and in the first three months of this year, exports and imports totaled $1.54b (Dh5.66b), according to Malaysian trade officials.
Quick facts on Malaysia
Malaysia today is a federation of 13 states and three federal territories
Although Muslims had trade relations in the Malay Peninsula as early as the 10th century, it was not until the 14th century that Islam was firmly established which saw the rise of a number of sultanates, including the Sultanate of Malacca.
Britain attempted to colonise Borneo (part of Malaysia) as early as 1771 but did not gain a foothold in Malaysia until 1786 when the British East India Company procured the Penang island.
> 31,622,000 estimated population of Malaysia (50.1 percent are Malays; 22.6 per cent Chinese; 11.8 per cent indigenous; 6.7 per cent Indian; 8.8 per cent other nationalities)
> 35,000 tourists from the UAE visited Malaysia last year
> $5.36b (Dh19.69b) total trade between the UAE and Malaysia in 2016