Independence an option if Putrajaya fails to return Sarawak’s rights, says NGO

Participants in traditional costumes at the Sarawak independence day celebration organised by the Sarawak Association for Peoples’ Aspiration in Kuching today.

KUCHING: Independence is always an option if Putrajaya refuses to return Sarawak’s rights, Sarawak Association for Peoples’ Aspiration (Sapa) president Dominique Ng said.

“We are not just talking about the 20% oil royalty. We are talking about taking back everything that is rightfully ours,” he said after the Sarawak’s independence day celebration at Kuching’s Central Padang today.

Ng said many Sarawakians, including the youths, have started to realise the importance for Sarawak to have its say in running its affairs.

“We are not trying to be seditious. We are talking about gaining our freedom, which is supported by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1514 (Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples).

“Sarawak was guaranteed self governance under article 8 of the 9th Cardinal Principles by the last Rajah Sarawak in 1946.

“This is a constitutional right granted by our last Rajah,” he said, adding that Sarawak has been known to be a sovereign country for 100 years.

However, Ng said Sabah and Sarawak have been “downgraded” to the 12th and 13th states in Malaysia.

Sarawak Association for Peoples’ Aspiration president Dominique Ng.

He said the “colonial masters were changed on Sept 16 from Great Britain to the Federation of Malaya”.

“This is a sad reality which many people had failed to understand,” he said.

Earlier, Ng thanked the Sarawak government for approving its application to hold the event at the Central Padang.

“This is the first time that they have granted Sapa a permit to organise Sarawak’s independence day.

“Today’s event has been a tremendous success even though it was raining since early morning,” he said.

The event, attended by hundreds of supporters, was jointly organised by Sapa, the Dayak National Congress, Solidariti Anak Sarawak and Sarawak for Sarawakians.

The activities included the singing of Sarawak’s anthem, “Fairland Sarawak”, followed by the raising of the Sarawak flag.

There were also a tug-of-war contest, poem recital and release of balloons.