FIRST of all Happy Sarawak Day.
That’s why I am rather pleased that so many of us are talking about July 22 now. The date didn’t mean much to many in the past, but now everyone is claiming credit for commemorating this day.
Admittedly I was also ignorant at one stage. But then on July 22, 2003 – Sarawak’s Ruby Jubilee or 40th anniversary of independence, I attended a HUGE celebration at Padang Merdeka in Kuching. It was a grand affair with dignitaries from other countries all joining in the celebration and acknowledging our State’s true date of independence. Contingents marched and the people cheered. Think back. Don’t you remember it?
Now who do you think arranged this magnificent event? Was in an NGO? An opposition party? No it was the State Government, then led by our current Governor Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud. Our then Governor Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Salahuddin Abang Barieng was also there to grace the occasion.
Why am I bringing this up? I just want to set history straight and point out that our State has always remembered July 22. It is not something new but I know some quarters are today taking credit for its commemoration.
I will now rehash what I said four years ago. Fifty-two years ago today, we were not under the Brunei Sultanate. We were not under the Brookes. We were not under Japanese occupation. We were not a British colony. We were a truly independent nation.
Sarawak Day acknowledges the struggles of our leaders of the first cabinet under the late Tan Sri Datuk Amar Stephen Kalong Ningkan to chart our destiny as Sarawakians.
Let’s not forget the significance of this day. Let’s do something simple and just wish each other Happy Sarawak Day. It doesn’t cost a thing, but it is worth so much to remember our true history.
Remember our true history and not let others misappropriate it for their own glory.
Glory, glory Fairland Sarawak. I will never cease to honour thee and defend thy liberty. Long may your people live in unity, peace and harmony.