722 gathering on July 22 to raise several issues

The 722 event organising committee poses for a photo. Front row (from left) William Liam and Peter John Jaban. Second row (from left) Lina Soo, Jane Dripin, Anthony David, Robert Gunn, Alim and Buln Ribos.

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KUCHING, July 18: Several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are joining hands to organise the 722 event for the sixth consecutive year since the event debuted in 2013.

NGOs such as Dayak National Congress (DNC), Sarawak Association for Peoples’ Aspiration (SAPA), Saya Anak Sarawak (SAS), Dayak National Institute (DANI), Cross Country Riders and bikers’ groups will be attending the gathering on July 22.

According to the event organiser, Alim Mideh, the organising committee had moved on to new demands for this year. This included immediate compliance with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), rejection of the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) and Territorial Sea Act 2012 (TSA) in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly, and full recognition of Native Customary Rights land, including ‘Pemakai Menoa’ and ‘Pulau Galau’ (PMPG).

“This year’s 722 organising committee plans to reach out to our rural population. Siniawan and Bau are our targets to allow the folks there to have a chance to celebrate Sarawak Independence Day with us.

“Our objective is to create awareness and impart factual knowledge of Sarawak history,” said Alim in a press statement today.

He said the participants would assemble at the Kuching Civic Centre before moving on to Central Padang and later to Siniawan and Bau.

“We shall assemble at Kuching Civic Centre at 10am on July 22. At 11am, we shall make a convoy to Central Padang. We will later depart Kuching for Siniawan and Bau.

“We shall have a stopover at Siniawan enroute to Tasik Biru in Bau. We expect to arrive at 1pm, where we will meet the Bau group, which will start their celebration at 10am with aerobics, ‘poco poco’, Zumba and karaoke,” claimed Alim.

He said when the Kuching convoy arrives in Bau, there would be a flag-raising ceremony, singing of the Sarawak anthem and reading of a pledge of allegiance to Sarawak.

There will be short speeches on MA63, PDA, TSA, the Cabotage Policy and Native Customary Rights. Other programmes in store are auto and bike shows.

“In the celebration, we do not forget the less fortunate. The First Division Shooting Club will hold a blood donation campaign and Sarawakians are urged to contribute to the Blood Bank.”

Alim said the theme colour for this year is red.

“Sarawakians from near and far are urged to come in red attire or traditional costume to join in the fun. The programme ends at 7pm,” he said. — DayakDaily