KUCHING, Oct 1: The national anthem incident involving Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S) members at a fundraising dinner for Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) Baru has nothing to do with the party.
Its former president Bobby William said party members and event organisers, civil society group Terabai Heritage, were unaware that the S4S activist group was planning to snub the national anthem by not standing up when it was played at the start of last Friday’s dinner (Sept 27).
“It is beyond the organisers’ control that the S4S members refused to stand up to respect the national anthem. Their motive for refusing to stand up when Negaraku was played is only known to them.
“However, the actions of these S4S members should not be linked to PBDS Baru or the civil society, as it was a separated, isolated incident,” he said in a statement.
Bobby also clarified that Terabai Heritage took over as the organisers of the dinner following PBDS Baru’s deregistration by the Registrar of Societies (RoS).
“The dinner was initially meant to raise funds for PBDS Baru for its administration. Since our party’s registration has been cancelled, we decided to ask the civil society to take over as organisers,” he continued.
Police have called up the seven members of S4S who did not stand up for the national anthem, as seen in a video clip that has gone viral in the social media.
State police deputy commissioner, DCP Datuk Dev Kumar, said a police report on the incident was lodged yesterday (Sept 30). The case is being investigated under Section 8(3) of the National Anthem Act 1968.
S4S spokesperson Shaow Tung Leong, among those called up by the police over the incident, said their actions was a “silent protest” against the federal government’s “unfair” treatment of Sarawak.
“We did not stand up because we feel disappointed and angry at the federal government,” he told reporters after having his statement recorded at the police one-stop centre here, yesterday.
Leong uploaded the video clip on Facebook on Sept 28.
At a press conference last Saturday, Bobby confirmed that the party has been deregistered by the RoS for failing to submit its annual returns since 2014. The deregistration took effect on June 12, this year.
He explained that non of the party’s supreme council members were aware of the situation until its former secretary-general Julius Enchana Jaspher Anco submitted their latest annual general meeting report on Aug 29.
PBDS Baru has written a letter of appeal to RoS and Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. — DayakDaily