Soo cries foul over missing “independence” word for July 22, Chronology of Events in Sarawak Almanac 2022

Soo showing the difference of the 2021 Sarawak Almanac (right) and the 2022 Sarawak Almanac.

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KUCHING, July 6: Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) wants the Sarawak government to rectify the “illegal” mislabelling of July 22 as Sarawak Day, asserting the date should be marked as “Sarawak Independence Day” as well as restore the original “Chronology of Events” format in the 2022 Sarawak Almanac.

Its president Lina Soo, in raising this issue, also wanted to know the reason or motive behind the marking of July 22 as Sarawak Day which she opined is a sacrilegious act and a show of disrespect for former Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem’s (Tok Nan) legacy for the people of Sarawak.

“Why has the Sarawak government jettisoned the word ‘independence’ from the gazetted notification Sarawak Independence Day for it to become published as ‘Sarawak Day’?

“On May 10, 2016, it was decreed that the 22nd day of July in every year is to be observed as a public holiday gazetted under the Public Holiday (Sarawak Independence Day Notification, 2016) to be known as the Sarawak Independence Day.

“This gazette notification was duly executed by a democratically elected government, approved by the Sarawak Governor, and signed by command of the (then) Chief Minister of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr Adenan Satem,” she decried in a statement today.

Soo also took issue with the content of Sarawak Almanac 2022 in breaking with tradition by omitting the Sarawak Chronology of Events, which is a chronological record of Sarawak’s history from its founding in 1841 up to the present, which has been replaced with pictures of food.

Baffled why the Sarawak government should turn it into a tourism booklet of what to eat in Sarawak, Soo emphasised that the Sarawak Gazette is a serious official publication as it does not just have the calendar but holds a printed record of Sarawak’s history.

“The QR code to access the ‘Chronology of Events’ is no substitute as it is a fact that not every Sarawakian owns a smartphone or has access to the Internet.

“Or is blotting the word ‘independence’ off the gazette notification and terminating the Chronology of Events in the almanac a more sinister move to blot out Sarawak history from the minds of the people?” she asked.

Reminding the government of this importance, she quoted writer George Orwell: “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”

Soo urged the Sarawak government rectify the ‘illegal mislabelling’ of Sarawak Independence Day, and to restore the Sarawak Almanac to its original format with Chronology of Events in hard copy.

“Otherwise its tagline on the almanac ‘An Honour To Serve’ rings hollow,” she added. — DayakDaily