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KUCHING, Nov 8: The Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN), in collaboration with Pos Malaysia, has launched a commemorative postage stamp in conjunction with the 150th Anniversary of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly.
Launched by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at the DUN building today, the special postage stamp depicts the changing era from when the first meeting was held in Bintulu in 1867 to the establishment of the current DUN building.
The mace symbolises the power and authority of the Speaker and a new mace was made to represent the new age and time of today’s legislative assembly to replace the one which had been in used for more than 30 years.
Being the oldest legislative assembly in Malaysia, Sarawak DUN was formed by Charles Brooke, the Rajah Muda under the orders of James Brooke, the then Rajah of Sarawak in 1867.
The General Council (Majlis Umum) was first convened on Sept 8, 1867 in a small village in Bintulu. Its members were chosen from local tribe leaders who were thought to be capable of assisting Brooke in administering the kingdom. Its first 21 members of the Sarawak General Council was headed by Charles comprising six government officers and 16 local community leaders.
The following year, the meeting was held at Fort Brooke in Sibu. Then in October 1870, it was held at Astana Kuching. In 1903, the General Council was renamed Council Negri and from July 22, 1918, the Council Negri meetings were held at the Court House until Dec 28, 1973, when it was moved to Dewan Pembangunan Tun Abdul Razak. In 1976, the Council Negri was renamed as the State Legislative Assembly and had its own building, the Kompleks Dewan Undangan Negeri. Finally, the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly was moved to its current building located on a hill by the Sarawak River, next to the Astana and Fort Margherita. The new Sarawak DUN building was declared open by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on July 27, 2009.
The Sarawak DUN has entered three important phases, namely, the Brooke Dynasty (the kingdom of Sarawak) followed by the British colonial period until Sarawak achieved its independence on July 22, 1963 and formed the Federation of Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963. The Sarawak DUN today consists of 82 elected members. — Dayak Daily