KUCHING: Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) regrets the government has banned the ‘722 movement’ for a peaceful parade to mark Sarawak’s independence from British colonial rule.
SUPP Youth Central Publicity and Information secretary Milton Foo said yesterday: “The parade is meant to create public awareness that on July 22, 1963, Sarawak achieved the status of an independent state and sovereign nation before forming Malaysia with Malaya, Singapore and North Borneo on Sept 16,1963.”
Foo added that ‘722’ is as significant and meaningful day to the people of Sarawak as Aug 31, 1957 is meaningful to the people of Malaya.
The people of Sarawak had applied for permission for a celebratory and peaceful parade to comply with legal requirements under the law in the hope police could be present at the scene to assist in coordinating and maintaining public order.
“It’s puzzling why this meaningful event is being suppressed by the authorities. The excuse given by the authority that it would cause serious traffic congestion and affect the people’s daily activities is invalid and unacceptable.
“How about the Merdeka Day parade organised by the officials? Just because the organiser is a government agency, permission is warranted? Won’t such parade also cause traffic congestion? What double standard!” he commented.
Foo said the police are civil servants and not caretaker of the government.
“I therefore call upon the authority to adopt and respect the will of the people and not turn a joyous event into an unhappy one,” he said.