Walk to commemorate Sarawak Independence Day

By Jude Toyat
@judetbpseeds

 

“Sarawak for Sarawakians!”
“We want a public holiday for Sarawak!”
“We want our rights back!”

THESE WERE SOME of the cries from about 100 individuals who called themselves 722 Sarawak during the ‘Sarawak Independence Walk 2014’ held last Saturday July 19.

Organised by Dayak National Congress (DNC) in collaboration with Sarawak Association for People’s Aspiration and Borneo Heritage Foundation, organising secretary Dominic Retan Giah explained that the whole idea behind the walk was to commemorate the day Sarawak gained independence from Britain and became a nation on July 22, 1963.

 

Remembering 22 July 1963 for Sarawakian rights and solidarity

Remembering 22 July 1963 for Sarawakian rights and solidarity

 

Up until a few years ago, that day that had been more or less forgotten or overlooked in Malaysian history books. Now they are trying to revive interest in that chapter in history and let people know that back then Sarawak been independent for 55 days from July 22 until September 16, 1963.

“722 stands for the 22nd July. In my opinion, ideally the whole focus of Merdeka or formation of Malaysia should be on the 16th September, and we have nothing to do with the 31st August, that’s is just for West Malaysian states. As Sarawakians, we should only look at only these two dates, Sarawak Merdeka on the 22nd July, and the formation of Malaysia on 16th September,” he said when met by THE BORNEO POST SEEDS before the walk that started at 5pm.

 

Proudly holding a Sarawakian flag from yesteryear

Proudly holding an old Sarawak flag.

Line up of motorbikes and 4WD for the procession

Line up of motorbikes and 4WD for the procession.

Convoy of 4WD following the parade

A convoy of 4WD vehicles following the parade.

 

A convoy of 4WD vehicles and big bikers also joined in the 3km parade carrying and waving Sarawak flags where the one-and-a-half hour walk ended at Reservoir Park and received positive feedback from members of the public who saw them and also joined in the walk.

“This walk is also as an awareness programme for Sarawakians, especially among the younger generation to foster solidarity, and by that, we also give set of demands for the state government to consider having this date as remembrance or maybe even as a public holiday. This gives some value to us as people of Sarawak,” he added.

 

Young participants with a banner of Sarawak Independence Day

Young participants with a banner of Sarawak Independence Day

 

A box was also placed at Reservoir Park for anyone who wanted to express their feelings in writing about Sarawak sovereignty.

This is the second time that the walk had been organised, the first being 22nd July last year. They look forward to organising it again next year, so long as Sarawak is perceived as a minority state.

 

One participant with a banner on the demands for the state government

One participant with a banner demanding more rights to oil royalty.

 

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