NGO organising 2 events to celebrate Sarawak Independence Day

Ng (sixth left), flanked by Peter to his left, and others holding the promotional material of 722 Sarawak Independence Day celebration and gathering at Central Padang this year.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, June 22: Sarawak Association for Peoples’ Aspirations (Sapa) will be organising two programmes this year to commemorate July 22, as it is a day of great significance for Sarawak.

There will be a dinner on July 20 at Crown Square and the `722 Sarawak Independence Day’ gathering at Central Padang on July 22.

The event will be jointly organised with Dayak Nasional Congress (DNC), Solidariti Anak Sarawak (SAS) and Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S).

Sapa president Dominique Ng told a press conference that Sapa was the pioneer that started the annual 722 movement at Central Padang in 2012.

“We expect a few thousand people to turn up this time, including big bikers groups. We want to welcome people from all strata of the society, including political parties, non-government organisations (NGOs) and everyone who loves Sarawak to join us on this day of celebration,” he said.

Ng assured that the mass gathering is “legal, safe and secure” and hoped many people would “come out and celebrate as loudly as possible”.

Meanwhile, its information and publicity chief, Peter John, emphasised that the gathering was not a protest or rally.

“Plus we have written to the state government and state secretary to inform them of this event. The authority cannot remove us as all legal procedures are met.

“So, bring your mattress, nasi lemak, drinks or even fridge so we can all picnic under the trees at Padang Merdeka to cheers and observe this significant day together,” he added.

Peter also suggested that this picnic gathering to observe Sarawak Independence Day be included in the Sarawak Calendar of Events as it could showcase the uniqueness of Sarawak, which is full of rich history.

Peter also urged people, especially from the indigenous community, to come out and join the event in their traditional attires.

For those who have intentions to use the celebration to put across their demands, he said this would not be the proper channel as the gathering would solely focus on celebrating the importance of July 22, a day Sarawak attained self-government from the British.

The organisers are still planning for various side activities to be held during the gathering, including band performances, big bikes display and games to make the celebration merrier. — DayakDaily