It's probably proof of our failing educational system, or maybe just indifference in history class. As all Malaysians know, we gained our independence from the grip of British imperialism on 31st August 1957. We know that, because we learned that in history.
What we seem to have forgotten though, that it was only Malaya (now Peninsular Malaysia, also called West Malaysia) that gained independence on that historic day. The Nation of Malaysia would only start to exist six years later, incorporating Sarawak, North Borneo (now called Sabah) and Singapore. This historic moment happened on 16th September 1963.
If Malaysia had a birthday, 16th September would be it, not 31st August. In fact, I wonder sometimes why 16th September isn't celebrated as Malaysia Day, because that too is a most important date for us Malaysians, especially so for Sabah and Sarawak because that is their true independence date.
Sadly, this hugely important day goes largely forgotten... and to add salt to the wound, us Malaysians get our nation's birthday wrong. Even Jeff Ooi's got it wrong, of all people.