Is Sarawak an independent state on July 22, 1963? This is an issue that has not been debated and discussed until recently.
If July 22, 1963 is not to be regarded as Sarawak’s independent day, then when is it?
It cannot be August 31 even though we have been celebrating it as our independent day since 1964. It cannot be September 16, either, even though Malaysia was proclaimed on this day in 1963.
The Malaysia Agreement was signed on July 9, 1963 between the Government of the United Kingdom, the Government of Malaya, the Government of North Borneo (now known as Sabah), the Government of Sarawak, and the Government of Singapore.
Should not July 9 be our independent day? Sarawak must have been regarded as a sovereign state by this time otherwise how was it possible that it signed an agreement with the other sovereign states.
Can a non-sovereign state sign an agreement with a non-sovereign state to create a new political union?
Sarawak must have been granted independent status otherwise it could not sign the Malaysia Agreement on July 9, 1963.
Or, is this a case where Sarawak leaders signed the agreement first and expected full independent to come later.
Did we achieve independent from the British without the people really knew something about it? This is not possible as the IGC and the Cobbold reports would have suggested differently.
Should not our independent day be on the day the last British Governor, Sir Anthony Waddell, left his office, and that was on 22 July, 53 years ago.
It has to be understood that before July 22, 1963, we never had a Chief Minister, and the Chief Minister that was sworn in that day was not of a British origin, but an indigenous Sarawakian.
Before that day, we had been ruled for a century by a British family and when we became a part of the British Empire in 1946, we came under the jurisdiction of the British Parliament.
Before 1963 we had a state legislature, but our state legislature was headed by a British. On July 22, 1963, we had the Head of the Government and the Head of the State Legislature who was a native Sarawakian.
Tan Sri Adenan, our Chief Minister, acknowledged and recognised the significance of July 22 in the history of modern Sarawak.
Acknowledging it and knowing about it is one thing. Doing something about it is another thing altogether.
All Sarawakians must be thankful to Tan Sri Adenan, for without his wisdom, understanding, and courage, we would not have our Sarawak day. This is the day he said, we have our dignity back and we have to preserve it if Sarawak is to regain its rightful place in the federation. He wants others to know this. He is the pride of the state, and he has made all Sarawakians proud.
Tan Sri Adenan seems to be someone who knows why is in politics, and this is one legacy that he has achieved that no one can take it away from him. – Sarawakvoice.com