When he spoke at the inaugural ceremony held in the Merdeka Stadium, on 16 September 1963, at which the new Malaysian flag was raised for the first time, the then Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra called on all Malaysians to defend the flag of the new nation.
He said defend it "with all our strength - even if necessary with our lives." That is what our security forces are doing in Sabah and it is our duty to support and not to belittle them.
The Tunku added: "Today brings to an end British colonialism and rule in the three territories of Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah. For us in Malaya, we have had good fortune because we have enjoyed independence for more than six years, so we welcome our brothers with full feelings of sincerity and goodwill.
"We are determined to defend the sovereignty and independence of Malaysia together with our new brothers for all time," he was quoted by The Straits Times (17 September 1963).
"Let us pledge today and at this auspicious moment in the name of God that we will defend the flag of our nation and State with all our strength, even if necessary with our lives.