KUCHING, July 22: There was no mistake when former Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem declared July 22 as Sarawak Independence Day in 2016.
Sarawak Association for Peoples’ Aspiration (Sapa) president Dominique Ng expressed disappointment that Sarawak politicians especially those from the ruling coalition in recent years have tried to downgrade the significance and importance of Sarawak Independence Day, to merely a Sarawak Day holiday.
He was especially unhappy at the purported comments of a prominent Sarawak personality that suggested that it was a mistake that the word “Independence” was added to the Sarawak Government Gazette (dated May 20, 2016), that announced that July 22 would be the Sarawak Independence Day and a public holiday.
“There was no mistake at all and the late Tok Nan (Adenan), had meant it when he had 22 July declared as ‘Sarawak Independence Day’, for whatever reason he may have!” Ng said.
Ng was of the view that the actual reason for declaring July 22 as Sarawak Independence Day by Tok Nan was because the latter wanted to send a strong and clear message that Sarawakians want to have a real independence day.
“So that 22 July has become an ‘Aspirational Day’! And Sapa, as its name declares, will continue to pursue 722 as Sapa’s aspiration for Sarawak’s Independence until it has been finally achieved,” said Ng at a flag-raising and Sarawak anthem-singing ceremony this morning to mark Sarawak Independence Day.
Led by Ng and his deputy president Hapeni Fadil, a small group of Sapa activists and Sarawak nationalists raised the old Sarawak flag and sang the old Sarawak anthem ‘Fair Land Sarawak’, outside the chambers of Messrs Dominique Ng and Associates at Poh Kwong Park, Kuching.
In his brief speech to those gathered, Ng explained the symbolism and significance behind the old Sarawak flag and the old Sarawak anthem.
Ng stressed that the old Sarawak flag or a similar earlier version was the official Sarawak flag from the 1840’s till 1973, or for more than 100 years.
As for the lyrics of “Fair Land Sarawak”, he said the song was sung at official functions from 1946 to 1973.
“So the old anthem too has a long and distinguished history behind it.
“And that both the old Sarawak flag and Sarawak anthem was (used) for the time of a long century when Sarawak was actually a nation that was free, independent and sovereign. Thus their adoption by the Sarawak nationalists striving for the true independence of Sarawak,” said Ng. — DayakDaily