722 Rally: SAPA calling for large turnout to support Sarawak rights

Ng (sixth left) releasing balloons to mark the launching of the Sarawak Independence Day rally taking place on July 22. Looking on are Anthony (centre), Soo (fifth right) and others.

By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, July 20: Sarawak Association of Peoples’ Aspiration (Sapa) is calling for a large turnout in its Sarawak Independence Day rally at Padang Merdeka here on July 22.

Its president Dominique Ng encouraged the public from all walks of life to participate in the rally he described as a “Sarawakian event”.

“This is Sarawak’s own day. We want to celebrate it as big as possible and we hope to have a substantive crowd at Padang Merdeka this year for this important event to commemorate Sarawak Independence Day.

“All Sarawakians are welcome to join us and based on past events, we are expecting thousands to turn up,” he told reporters when launching the event at Monday’s rally venue, the Padang Merdeka.

He expressed his gratitude to the state government for allowing SAPA the permit to hold such a grant event, which is scheduled to start 8am.

According to Ng, SAPA will also be joined by Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S), which began their rally from the Song Kheng Hai rugby field in Padungan at 10.30am, in show of support for the independence day event.

Among the highlight of the event included the raising of the Sarawak flag accompanied by the singing of the past state anthem “Fairland Sarawak”.

“This represents Sarawak for more than 100 years and we like to remember that. This is a very important event,” he said.

Ng added that when former chief minister, the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem declared July 22 as Sarawak Independence Day, it was a message to all Sarawakians to stand up and fight for Sarawak rights.

Event organising chairman and SAPA member, Anthony David, expressed confidence that the Sarawak Independence Day programme will be bigger than previous celebrations.

He thanked the police and Kuching North City Hall (DBKU) for their permits to hold the event at Padang Merdeka at the city centre.

“Don’t be wary nor afraid to come and show support as we have the permit to hold this event. It’s a day of celebration and we can even have a big picnic here,” he said.

Among the fun activities lined up for the day included a tug-of-war competition, exhibition by various Vespa bikes and big bikers group, as well as modified, decorated cars.

Anthony also encouraged rally participants to come in their traditional apparels to make the event more colourful.

State Reform Party president Lina Soo was present. — DayakDaily