KUCHING: Malaysians must learn from history that there are three entities/regions which make up the Federation of Malaysia, each with three different dates of independence — Malaya on August 31, 1957. Sarawak on July 22, 1963 and Sabah on August 31, 1963.
There is nothing wrong for Malaya to celebrate its 58th year of independence, and Sarawak and Sabah will celebrate it with them if invited,” said Land Development Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing when contacted yesterday.
However, he said it would be historically wrong if the federal government declared August 31 as Malaysia’s 58th year of independence.
“It is therefore wise to omit the words ‘Merdeka’ and ‘58th year of Malaysia’ on August 31. Malaysia’s 52nd year of independence is September 16, 1963 and not August 31, 1957,” he said.
State PKR chairman Baru Bian meanwhile said federal leaders must admit their mistake that they have misled Sarawakians for the past 50 years or so.
“Just let Malaya celebrates August 31 and we wish them a joyous Merdeka Day. If they want a National Day for Malaysia it has to be September 16. Please don’t distort the truth and facts any further,” the Ba Kelalan assemblyman reiterated.
Both Masing and Baru were commenting on the directive from the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (MCMC) that for this year’s celebration on August 31, the words ‘Independence/Kemerdekaan must now be changed to ‘Happy National Day/Selamat Hari Kebangsaan’.
On politics, Masing said the Pakatan Rakyat 2.0 contesting in the state election scheduled by June 2016 would mark the demise of Pakatan Rakyat 1.0 and the emergence of Gabungan Harapan Baharu (GHB), an offshoot of PAS’ disgruntled group.
“If it happens, the state BN will be facing a new kid on the block — GHB. The threat of GHB poses in Muslim areas is unknown therefore PBB shouldn’t take it easy.”
He however said GHB or PR2.0 would not pose much of a threat in the rural areas.
“Nevertheless, rural based parties like PRS and SPDP will have to be more vigilant and need to work harder,” he said.
He said the current political impasse in SUPP and SPDP must be settled amicably if the BN were going to have better chances in fighting PR2.0.
“Sarawak BN can’t procrastinate in solving this political impasse, otherwise it will evolve and mutate into bigger monster which will be harder for us to manage and control,” warned Masing.