KUCHING, July 24: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) has called on Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) to “not be ignorant of law and history regarding the independence of Sarawak”.
“We are appalled by Party Sarawak Bersatu (PSB)’s contradiction of YB Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative Minister’s statement that July 22 was when “Sarawak gained self-rule and not independence”, said PRS deputy secretary Senator Rita Insol here today in reference to PSB’s earlier statement regarding the matter.
Rita said that “the law and history” revealed that Sarawak was given the authority to self-govern in preparation for and anticipation of it joining Malaysia on 16 September, 1963.
“The Sarawak cabinet was formed and Datuk Stephen Kalong Ningkan was appointed as the first Chief Minister on 22 July, 1963. (And via) the Malaysia Act 1963 passed by the British Parliament, Great Britain only relinquished its sovereignty and jurisdiction over Sarawak on September, 16 1963, the day when Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore were federated with the Federation of Malaya.
“Against the backdrop of incontroverted truth as revealed by the law and facts as above, it is clear that the colonisation of Sarawak by Great Britain only ended on 16 September, 1963 when Sarawak formed the federation of Malaysia,” she explained.
Rita added that although July 22 has been gazetted as “Sarawak Independence Day”, Sarawakians must understand that it is termed as such in the context of “self-government” and not independence from British colonisation.
“Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) has never given up on its quest to restore Sarawak’s rights under MA63. On the contrary, much progress has been achieved in the discussions not only between the federal government and Sarawak but between Sarawak and Petronas since the Perikatan Nasional took over the federal government,” she added. —DayakDaily