MIRI, Sept 16: About 200 people, including a few Sabahans, mounted a peaceful ‘1963 Black Rally’ here today to demand the return of Sarawak’s rights.
The protestors gathered at Jalan Melayu, Centre Point Commercial Centre, before embarking on a 2km march at 9am. They not only held banners and chanted slogans such as ‘Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban’ and ‘Sarawak for Sarawakians’ but also waved the old Sarawak flags and Sabah state flags.
Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting, who was also present, said, “Today I came not as a politician but just as an ordinary Sarawakian.”
The march, which passed through Jalan Nakhoda Gampar, Jalan Kingsway and Jalan Padang before retracing to Jalan Melayu, ended at about 10.30am. Several plainclothes policemen and Special Branch personnel were spotted keeping watch.
Event organising chairman Peter Foo said the main aim of the rally was to demand for the return of Sarawak’s rights.
“Today’s rally is all about reclaiming Sarawak rights. After Sarawak became a founding member of the Federation of Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963, we, as the new generation of this land, must know our rights,” he told DayakDaily.
Foo, former Pujut assemblyman Fong Pau Teck, and the majority of the protestors wore black T-shirts with the words ‘1963’ printed on the front, denoting the ‘death’ of Sarawak’s rights.
“That is why we need to reclaim our rights as Sarawakians,” said Foo, in explaining their attire.
He added that they would be handing over a memorandum to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg concerning the state’s rights.
Meanwhile, the group of Sabahans who joined the rally said they knew about the rally from friends here.
“We drove all the way from Kota Kinabalu on Thursday and reached here after an 8-hour drive to give support to our Sarawakian friends,” said a member of the group. — DayakDaily