Tuesday, September 24

Authorities give greenlight to celebrate at Padang Merdeka

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Ng (sixth left), Anthony on his left, Soo (fifth right) and others gather for a group photo after the launch of ‘722 – Sarawak Independence Day 2019’.

KUCHING: July 22 is definitely Sarawak Day, but more importantly and officially, it is Sarawak Independence Day because it was gazetted as such, says Sarawak Association for People’s Aspirations (Sapa) president Dominique Ng.

“There is a lot of meaning in it. ‘Tok Nan’ (the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem, Sarawak’s fifth chief minister), when he decided to declare this Sarawak Independence Day, he had a message for all Sarawakians.

“We are hearing it loud and clear. There is nothing to fear. It is something all Sarawakians are hoping for. The day will come,” he told reporters here yesterday during a press conference on the launch of ‘722 – Sarawak Independence Day 2019’.

Ng also regarded the event as a ‘historic one this year’, in that Sapa had received Sarawak government’s permission to conduct it this Monday (July 22).

“This is historic as it’s the first time that the state government gave us the approval to conduct this event at Padang Merdeka.

“Even St Thomas Cathedral has allowed us to use the parking space there. Everyone is giving us the full cooperation.

“As this is Sarawak’s own day, we want to celebrate it as big as possible,” he said, encouraging all Sarawakians to join the event, which would commence at 8am.

Ng expressed his hope that the event would draw a substantial crowd of ‘a few thousands’ – a turnout of between 2,000 and 3,000, based on previous estimates from past years.

“The highlight of the event is the singing of ‘Fairland Sarawak’, and the raising of the Sarawak flag, for this represented Sarawak for more than 100 years. We would like to remember that.”

Earlier, organising chairman and Sapa member Anthony David briefed the media about the activities lined up for the day.

“It is a day of celebration with picnics and various fun activities, such as tug-of-war, gatherings of Vespa motorcycle enthusiasts and big bikers, as well as showcases of modified cars and even decorated cars.

“I urge all ‘Bangsa Sarawak’ to come out and support this event. If they can come in their traditional gears, they are most welcome to do so,” he said, expressing his appreciation to the police and Kuching City North Hall (DBKU) for giving them the permit to use the ‘padang’ (ground).

Sarawak State Reform Party chief Lina Soo, as well as representatives of Sarawak Liberation Movement (SLM) and Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S) were also present at the press conference.