Jom Belajar: Federal Territory Day
February 1 is a public holiday for Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, and Putrajaya residents every year, to celebrate Federal Territory Day – but how much do we know about this annual event and its history?
Federal Territory Day (Hari Wilayah Persekutuan) commemorates the establishment of the three federal territories in Malaysia, namely Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, and Putrajaya.
A federal territory is a district under the control of the federal government, rather than a state government. Kuala Lumpur became a federal territory on 1 Feb 1974, whilst Labuan Island became a federal territory on 16 April 1984, and Putrajaya on 1 Feb 2001. All three territories are under the control of the Ministry of Federal Territories.
The history of the first federal territory began when the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, handed over Kuala Lumpur, which was part of Selangor, to the federal government to ensure direct administration. In order to formally remove Kuala Lumpur from Selangor, permission was needed from the Selangor State Legislative Assembly and the Conference of Rulers.
As a result of the Constitutional amendment, 94 square miles of Selangor was handed over to the Federal Government, forming the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur. (It is rumored that Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah shed tears when he signed away Kuala Lumpur). Through this agreement, Kuala Lumpur was officially declared as the first federal territory by Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein.