Sunday, 19 July 2015

"Sarawak was granted self-government on 22 July 1963"

To West Malaysia people, there's something you all need to know before say something about Sarawak Independence day, why we reject August 31, you need to know one thing...

Sarawak was granted self-government on 22 July 1963...

William Liam (right photo)

Forgotten in the past, appeared to be a pointed reminder to the national government in Putrajaya that elements in both Sabah and Sarawak are demanding a more assertive approach to the governance of their own affairs.

The British took over the role of protecting Sarawak in 1888, formally becoming a colony in July 1946. On 22nd July 1963 Britain granted Sarawak full independence, where it became a sovereign state in its own right.

Many, if not most Malaysians are unaware that Sarawak was indeed, if only for a short time, a fully independent state before it entered into the Malaysia Agreement to form the Federation of Malaysia along with Sabah, Malaya, and Singapore, which formally came into effect on 16th September 1963, the actual birth date of Malaysia. Sarawak’s status, like Sabah’s within the Federation was defined by the 18 Points Agreement, which gave Sarawak (20 points in Sabah) sole responsibility in governing many aspects of its territory.

There is a sentiment in many quarters within Sarawakian society that the state’s rich and diverse history has been lost in favor of the ‘national Merdeka’ narratives dominated by the stories of the independence movement within the Malay Peninsula. As a consequence, Liberation Day, as independence from Britain is called in Sarawak, has become a forgotten annal in Malaysia’s history.
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