Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting.

KUCHING: Tourism, Arts and Culture Assistant Minister Datuk Sebastian Ting expressed pride that Miri was chosen to host this year’s Sarawak Day celebration.

He said the coming July 22 would be the fifth year that the state celebrating Sarawak Day after it was gazetted by the late chief minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem in 2016.

“It was gazetted on May 20, 2016 as a public holiday to celebrate the day that Sarawak attained self-government from the British,” he said.

Ting said July 22, 1963 marked the day when then-Governor Sir Alexander Waddell proclaimed the appointment of the late Tan Sri Datuk Amar Stephen Kalong Ningkan as the first chief minister and the rest of the elected Supreme Council Sarawakian members as the first ministerial Cabinet in Sarawak.

“As far as Sarawakians are concerned, we should consider July 22 as Sarawak Independence Day,” he said in a statement issued today.

He said Sarawak Day also remembers the sacrifices and contributions of past leaders who had contributed towards Sarawak’s independence.

“For the sake of clarity, it is important to note here that August 31, 1957 was the Independence Day for the Federated States of Malaya, which at that time had nothing to do with Sarawak,” he said.

Ting also reminded Sarawakians celebrating the occasion to be safe and continue to adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the authorities.

“Please remember to continue practising good personal hygiene such as washing hands regularly, using face masks in public and avoiding closed spaces as we are still combating the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.