Amend July 22 gazette notification, DAP tells Sarawak govt

Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen says July 22 is not Sarawak’s independence day.

KUCHING: The gazette notification which stated July 22 as a public holiday to celebrate Sarawak’s independence day must be put right, state DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said.

He said July 22 is not Sarawak’s independence day but it was gazetted by the previous Sarawak Barisan Nasional as such in 2016 to serve its own political agenda.

As a government, there must be a certain degree of integrity when it comes to issues concerning the history of the nation or state, he said.

“You cannot simply refer to July 22 as the state’s independence day to suit your political agenda. This is not right.

“I’m glad that the state government has finally come to terms that July 22 is not Sarawak’s independence day,” he said at a press conference here today.

July 22 was declared by the late Sarawak chief minister Adenan Satem in 2016 as Sarawak’s public holiday to honour past leaders and improve historical awareness among the people.

“But the Sarawak United Peoples’ Party, as part of the Gabungan Parti Sarawak ruling the state, is still referring to July 22 as the independence day. I think they’re doing it for their own political agenda,” he said.

However, state legal counsel JC Fong said on Monday that the gazette, which was signed by the late Adenan, was wrongly prepared.

“The fault lies with the officer who prepared the gazette.

“So, it would be better to have it corrected as the same question has been raised year after year,” he said, adding that Sarawak had gained its independence on Malaysia Day.