KUCHING: Sarawakians will have an additional public holiday as July 22 is observed as a public holiday starting this year.
A statement from the State Administrative Unit of the Chief Minister’s Department yesterday said July 22 is a public holiday as cited in the Sarawak Government Gazette and to be known as Sarawak Independence Day.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem had on April 23 declared July 22 a public holiday for Sarawak in honour of past leaders who have sacrificed much for the state’s independence.
Adenan, when announcing it at the final stop of Sejiwa Senada programme on that day (April 23), had also explained that the declaration of July 22 as a public holiday was meant to improve historical awareness among locals and Malaysians.
On July 22 1963, Sarawak was granted self-government by the British and this date is considered by many as Sarawak’s independence day.
Sarawak was a British colony between 1946 and 1963 after it was ceded by the Brooke government.
Sarawak was given self-government status until Sept 16, 1963 when it, together with Sabah, Singapore and Malaya formed the Federation of Malaysia.
According to experts, the date (July 22) was when the governor appointed Tan Sri Stephen Kalong Ningkan as the chief minister and the first ministerial cabinet in Sarawak was formed.