Party launches ‘I am Sarawakian’ campaign, a few of its members attend S4S assembly in Sibu
SIBU: SUPP launched a ‘I am Sarawakian’ campaign here yesterday by calling on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem to declare July 22 as ‘Hari Sarawak’.
As part of the campaign, party members joined about 500 people at an assembly hosted by the Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S) movement at the Town Square yesterday morning.
‘I am Sarawakian’ campaign’s person-in-charge, Michael Tiang, was also at the assembly. Tiang later issued a statement saying that the assembly was very meaningful as it promoted awareness of the state’s history among its people.
“Sarawak gained its independence on July 22, 1963, when the British colonial government returned the administration powers to the people of Sarawak.
“Every Sarawakian shall, therefore, remember July 22 and celebrate this Independence Day every year,” he said.
Tiang said SUPP, being a Sarawak-based political party and ‘100 per cent formed by Sarawakians’, would use its position in the ruling coalition to propose to Adenan to declare July 22 as ‘Hari Sarawak’. This, he added, would enable the state government to organise Independence Day events to celebrate this important day with the people. Tiang said such historical facts were never taught in schools.
“This shows that the syllabus designed by the federal education authority had failed to present a proper and complete history of Sarawak, in particular that Sarawak founded the Federation of Malaysia together with Singapore, Sabah and the Federation of Malaya as an independent and equal partner in the nation.”
Tiang said Sarawak’s independence on July 22 was vital as the independence determined Sarawak’s entitlement to many autonomous powers under the Federation of Malaysia.
“These autonomous powers shall be defended and upheld by each generation of Sarawakians.”
Meanwhile, at the assembly, the participants, from Sarikei, Sibu, Bintangor, Kapit, Mukah and Kanowit, gathered at the compound as early as 7.30am.
Carrying 18 banners written with the 18 points agreement, the participants chanted the Sarawak for Sarawakians slogan and called for a referendum. The 18 points agreement is on religion, language, constitution, head of the federation, name of the federation, immigration, right to secession, Borneanisation, British officers, citizenship, tariffs and finance, special position of indigenous communities, state government, transition, education, constitutional safeguards, representation in federal parliament and name of Head of State. Abiding by police instruction, the assembly was carried out peacefully and orderly without any untoward incident.
Policemen kept a watchful eye on the assembly until the crowd dispersed at noon. The assembly’s organising chairman Tay Swee Teck said the activity was co-hosted by S4S Sibu, Sarikei, Bintangor and Kapit. He said S4S was not a political party or non-governmental organisation.
“It is just a slogan, S4S, and this slogan is to gather people of Sarawak together to promote awareness of a referendum to protect the 18 points agreement,” he explained. He said the participants came as citizens of Sarawak to show their solidarity.
‘In another three days, we shall gather in Kuching to celebrate the Independence Day of Sarawak.” Although the police did not allow them to hold a parade, Tay said the assembly had achieved its goal.