Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sarawak to relive historic moment

KUCHING: A re-enactment of the final moments before Sarawak became independent from British rule 50 years ago would be staged at the Kuching Waterfront on July 22.

The spectacle will also mark Sarawak’s independence through Malaysia on Sept. 16, 1963.

Head of State Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhammad Salahuddin and Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud are scheduled to attend the grand event, which will also depict British governor Sir Alexander Waddel and the first five State Supreme Council members in the first State Cabinet.

An exhibition called ‘Sarawak Gemilang 50 Tahun’ and themed `Sarawak Harmoni, Kemakmuran Dinikmati’ will also be launched by Salahuddin at the Sarawak Tourism Complex on July 22. “As 50 years is a significant period, Sarawak will mark this occasion on a very big scale,” announced Second Resource Planning and Environment Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan in a press conference here yesterday.

He said the spectacle would, among others, give the younger generation, especially those born after 1963, a chance to experience the final moments leading to the state’s independence.

“The formation of the cabinet came about after 100 years of the Brooke era and 17 years as a British colony.

“It will also be a good time to learn and appreciate what local leaders have done to make Sarawak what it is today,” he said.

The late Tan Sri Stephen Kalong Ningkan helmed the first State Cabinet as chief minister. At that time, Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud was Minister of Works and Communications.

Awang Tengah said this topic ought to be included in school history books to promote the state’s history.

On the exhibition, he said it would highlight the developments of Sarawak from the time of the Brunei Sultanate’s rule in the 16th century to today.

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