By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, July 25: Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan claims that Sarawak did not achieve independence on July 22, 1963.
Voon in a press statement said it was then the day former Sarawak Governor Sir Alexander Waddell appointed Tan Sri Stephen Kalong Ningkan as the first Chief Minister of Sarawak and there was no transfer of power to the state.
“I have a deep research on these issues and kept a few files of documents on the formation of Malaysia.
“Monday, July 22, 1963 was the day Ningkan was appointed by Waddell as Sarawak’s Chief Minister.
“Waddell chaired the Supreme Council meeting on Friday and Saturday. British officers including the Attorney General also attended the Supreme Council Meeting.
“How could we say Sarawak was independent or had self-governance?
“There was no Self-Government Act passed by the UK to empower Ningkan to be given power to self-rule,” he said in a press statement.
Voon said the power remained with the British who were empowered to appoint anyone they chose to be the leader of the state.
He added that the British could have even appointed a British to be the chief minister if they so wanted.
In addition, Voon asserted that since Waddell was still in the Astana until the evening of September 15, 1963, Sarawak did not achieve independence on July 22.
He opined that the public had been given the wrong impression about the terms ‘Sarawak Day’ or ‘Independence for 722’.
He also criticised certain politicians for being ignorant about the legality of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the formation of Malaysia. —DayakDaily