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Michael Tiang on Sarawak Independence day

“722 Sarawak Independence Day is a special celebration for all Sarawakians. It is also a day to remind us of our special position in the Federation of Malaysia,” said SUPP Youth Central Chief, Michael Tiang. 

Tiang said as Sarawakians it is important for us to know our special rights and position as enshrined in both Federal and State constitutions. I therefore support the suggestion put forward by our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg that our up and coming lawyers must also be trained in Sarawak laws in their law syllabus. I emphasise that particularly the Sarawak Constitution should be taught in the law faculties as it is the very law that lays out the fundamental governing powers and structures for Sarawak which includes the State executive powers, official language for the State Assembly, public services, financial powers and so on. 

July 22 was gazetted as Sarawak Independence Day on May 20, 2016. Such gazette shows Sarawak government’s commitment in safeguarding our autonomy. In 2016, July 22 was announced by the then Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem as a public holiday and it was also celebrated for the first time in Bintulu so as to remind Sarawakians that the first Council Negri was held in Bintulu on September 8, 1867. There were 21 representatives elected by the people came from all over Sarawak to attend the Assembly. This historical fact shows that Sarawak had been practising democracy with election for legislature representation during White Rajah days. However when the British colonised Sarawak after the Second World War, Sarawak United Peoples’ Party was the first political party formed to lead anti-cession and anti-imperialist movements against the British colonial government with a slogan “Sarawak for Sarawakians”.

“Therefore I wish our fellow Sarawakians would celebrate the coming Sarawak Independence Day in their own ways but with a clear understanding of the meaning of this very special day as well as our history”, he added.

Michael Tiang

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