Aspirasi celebrates 181st founding anniversary of modern Sarawak

(From left) Aspirasi chairman George Young Si Ricord Junior, Soo, and Aspirasi party member Jane Dripin.

KUCHING, Sept 25: Members of the Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) got together on Sept 24 for an annual celebration commemorating the day modern Sarawak was founded.

According to a statement, its president Lina Soo stated that Sept 24, 1841, is the genesis date of modern Sarawak when James Brooke became ruler of a territory stretching from Tanjong Datu to the Samarahan River.

Soo noted that the date is documented in an agreement in the Jawi language signed between James Brooke and Pangeran Muda Hassim on Sept 24, 1841.

Delving into history, she claimed that records show the eastern seaboard on the island of Borneo was known as Cerava and was part of the Majapahit kingdom, the greatest Hindu-Buddhist empire in the history of Southeast Asia until the 16th century.

“In 1599, the son of the Sultan of Brunei Pengiran Ibnu Sultan Muhamad established his rule over the east-west territory of Borneo for 42 years.

“With Sultan Pengiran’s demise in 1641, Sarawak fell into a no man’s land when the people refused to submit to any regime or government and the territory was plagued by headhunting, piracy, slave trading, and insurgency.

“From Sept 24, 1841, the Brooke family ruled Sarawak, which came to be known as the White Rajah rule for 100 years as an independent sovereign territory purportedly recognised by the United States (USA) in 1850 and Britain in 1864,” she mentioned.

Today, remarked Soo, Sarawak is a multiracial parliamentary democracy made up of all the peoples of Sarawak of indigenous stock and migrants over hundreds of years, making Sarawak what it is today.

“We march forward and continue with our nation-building process to make Sarawak our beautiful homeland blessed with abundance and plenty,” she added. — DayakDaily