Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said Sabah Day was a historic and significant official event not only for the current generation, but also for the past and the future.
“Sabah Day has actually been celebrated in several districts on Aug 31 (when Sabah achieved independence from British colonial rule in 1963), which was then followed by Malaysia Day on Sept 16.
He said then British governor Sir William Goode declared on Aug 28, 1963 in Jesselton (now Kota Kinabalu) that the state would have its own government and new constitution starting Aug 31.
“Following that, each district was ordered to prepare to celebrate Sabah Day on Aug 31. However, this was overshadowed by National Day celebrations on the same date.
“Efforts to revive Sabah Day celebrations actually started several years ago.
“Realising the importance of this celebration to the people here, the state government decided to bring back Sabah Day and how it was celebrated 60 years ago,” he said.
He noted that Sarawak had been celebrating Sarawak Day on July 22.
Hajiji also said it was important to remember the historic state event as it was a prelude to the bigger event of forming Malaysia.
“Six decades may have passed… but better late than never!” he said.
Hajiji also said the combination of complementary national and state level development policies had put the state on the right path for continued growth.
He said there had been much progress since Malaysia was formed six decades ago but there were still many things lacking to be addressed in order to reduce the gap between the Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.
He said the state government and the Federal government are working towards improving the economy and living standards of the people.
“We believe the close ties will also facilitate any claims related to the Malaysia Agreement (MA63) and other matters,” he said.