By Malcolm Lau
KUCHING, Dec 11: One of the greatest legacies of former Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem is the gazettement of 22nd July as Sarawak Independence Day.
“I believed that a unilateral declaration of Sarawak Independence Day was made by Tok Nan,” Sarawak Reform Party (Star) president Lina Soo said during a talk titled ‘Sarawak Independence Referendum: Is There a Way Forward?’ which was held at a hotel here on Tuesday (Dec 10) night.
“That day is a day to remind ourselves,” she added.
Thus, according to Soo, Sarawak does not need a referendum law to hold an independence referendum as it is not a quest for secession but to seek restoration for Sarawak.
“Sarawak is no stranger to referendum and sovereignty. Before World War II, Sarawak signed treaties with Brunei and the United Kingdom, and had its own administration, flag, anthem, currency, stamp, passport, judiciary and armed forces — Sarawak Rangers.”
She also asserted that Sarawak was sovereign before annexation by the British on the first of July 1946.
“An independence referendum typically arises first after political success for nationalists of a territory. Negotiations for a referendum may take place between the nationalists and the government,” she said.
“People in Sarawak are now politically matured and capable of making an informed decision.”
She encouraged Sarawakians to determine the sovereignty and future of Sarawak, and emphasised that an independence referendum is the way.
Also present at the talk was lawyer and former Padungan assemblyman Dominique Ng and lawyer Robert Lau Hui Yew.
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Caption: Lina Soo, explaining the Sarawak History to the audiences of the talk titled ‘Sarawak Independence Referendum: Is There a Way Forward?’ at Kuching Park hotel