Sunday, August 9

Sarawak to relive historic moment


KUCHING: A re-enactment of the final moments before Sarawak became independent from British rule 50 years ago would be staged at the Kuching Waterfront on July 22.

The spectacle will also mark Sarawak’s independence through Malaysia on Sept. 16, 1963.

Head of State Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhammad Salahuddin and Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud are scheduled to attend the grand event, which will also depict British governor Sir Alexander Waddel and the first five State Supreme Council members in the first State Cabinet.

An exhibition called ‘Sarawak Gemilang 50 Tahun’ and themed `Sarawak Harmoni, Kemakmuran Dinikmati’ will also be launched by Salahuddin at the Sarawak Tourism Complex on July 22. “As 50 years is a significant period, Sarawak will mark this occasion on a very big scale,” announced Second Resource Planning and Environment Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan in a press conference here yesterday.

He said the spectacle would, among others, give the younger generation, especially those born after 1963, a chance to experience the final moments leading to the state’s independence.

“The formation of the cabinet came about after 100 years of the Brooke era and 17 years as a British colony.

“It will also be a good time to learn and appreciate what local leaders have done to make Sarawak what it is today,” he said.

The late Tan Sri Stephen Kalong Ningkan helmed the first State Cabinet as chief minister. At that time, Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud was Minister of Works and Communications.

Awang Tengah said this topic ought to be included in school history books to promote the state’s history.

On the exhibition, he said it would highlight the developments of Sarawak from the time of the Brunei Sultanate’s rule in the 16th century to today.

It would be divided into four galleries. The first gallery focuses on the state’s history from pre-independence to the end of the 1970s.

The second gallery focuses on Taib’s politics of development, which is referred to as Sarawak’s First Wave of Development – a period when the state experienced rapid progress. The third gallery will highlight Sarawak’s Second Wave of Development, and the focus will be on the conceptualisation and implementation of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy.

The last gallery will highlight the future aspirations of the state.

The exhibition will be held from July 22 to Sept 29, 2013.

It will be open from 10am to 10pm every Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.