KUCHING, July 28: State Reform Party Sarawak is perturbed by recent calls from several parties to amend the gazetted notification of ‘Sarawak Independence Day’ to ‘Sarawak Day’.
Its president Lina Soo agreed that indeed 22 July is not the date of Sarawak independence as it was neither decolonisation from British imperialism nor a surrender of independence and sovereignty back to Sarawak.
“It was merely the date of internal self-government with the first ever appointment of a Sarawak Chief Minister and Cabinet.
“It was a devolution of powers from the British Governor and colonial officers to a local government, but without the handover of sovereignty which remained with the British Government until 16 September when Sarawak sovereignty was surrendered to the Federation of Malaya to be renamed Malaysia,” said Soo in a press statement today.
However, she questioned whether late Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem (Tok Nan) was wrong when he called July 22 as “Sarawak Independence Day”.
“No, Tok Nan was a learned lawyer and the former Chief Minister knew what he was doing.
“What Tok Nan had done is a pre-emptive strike of his own to go straight into the heart and aspiration of many Sarawakians who have a shared dream and vision of an independent sovereign Sarawak.
“By daring to call it ‘Independence Day’ when it is not, Tok Nan had in fact left his legacy behind for us to chase the bigger picture and to make it happen,” said Soo.
Soo would even go as far as to construe ‘Sarawak Independence Day’ as a pre-emptive Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) to be realised at a future date when the situation and circumstances are amenable.
“Calling for Sarawak Independence Day to be changed to Sarawak Day at the behest of politicians, is it because they insist Sarawak is not independent and can never be?”
“Would that mean then, Sarawak is akin to being a colony of the Federation which is defined as the Federation of Malaya in Article 160 of the Federal Constitution?” Soo asked.
She reminded Sarawakians of the dying wish of Tok Nan.
“So let us appreciate and treasure Tok Nan’s legacy. ‘Jaga Sarawak Tok Bait-Bait’,” said Soo.— DayakDaily