By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING: Deputy Minister of Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen is calling for the state government to do correction on the gazette notification from declaring July 22 as Sarawak Independence Day to Sarawak Day.
He was responding to a statement by the state’s Legal Advisor Datuk Seri JC Fong on July 22, saying that the gazette was wrongly prepared by someone and then Chief Minister the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem signed it.
Fong said it would be better to have the Gazette corrected as the same question has been raised year after year.
“Now the confusion whether July 22 is Sarawak Day or Sarawak Independence Day, I think the state legal advisor JC Fong through a statement said that this is not Sarawak Independence Day, and the state government has also clarified that 722 is not Sarawak Independence Day either. But somehow the gazette notification called this day the Sarawak Independence Day.
“I think we have to get our history correct whether we have independence or not, I think this is very clear that there are certain conditions when a nation has gained independence or otherwise,” he told reporters this afternoon.
Chong said it was sad to see that despite the fact that it was not Sarawak Independence Day, it was gazetted as Sarawak Independence Day some four years ago.
He accused that it was the then Barisan Nasional (BN) state government then who twisted history just to suit its political agenda, trying to ride on the sentiments for the benefit or convenience for the 2016 state election.
“As a government I think you must have certain degree of integrity when it comes to the issue of the history of the nation or state, and you cannot just call a historical date whatever name just to suit your political agenda.
“I think that is totally not right. So since it is not independence day then we can call is Sarawak Day, it doesn’t matter. Whatever the day you want to call it to give or attach meaning to it, or to attach the importance to the day that we all agree it should be done,” he said. — DayakDaily