Rita Insol

KUCHING: A senator has chided Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) for its ignorance of the law and history regarding Sarawak’s independence.

Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) deputy secretary-general Senator Rita Insol said she was shocked to note PSB’s contradiction of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar’s statement that July 22 was when Sarawak gained self-rule and not independence.

“Although July 22 has been gazetted as Sarawak Independence Day, Sarawakians must understand that it is termed as such in the context of self-government and not independence from British colonisation,” she said in a statement yesterday.

She was commenting on a statement by PSB which said that Sarawak was independent when it executed Malaysia Agreement (MA63) and are equal partners in the Federation.

Rita said that the law and history revealed that Sarawak was given the authority to self-govern in preparation for and anticipation of it forming Malaysia on Sept 16,1963.

“The Sarawak cabinet was formed and Datuk Stephen Kalong Ningkan was appointed as the first chief minister on July 22, 1963.

“Vide the Malaysia Act 1963 passed by the British Parliament, Great Britain only relinquished its sovereignty and jurisdiction over Sarawak on Sept 16, 1963, the day when Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore were federated with the Federation of Malaya,” she said.

She said that it was clear that the colonisation of Sarawak by Great Britain only ended on Sept 16,1963 when Sarawak helped formed Malaysia.

“Furthermore, GPS has never given up on its quest to restore Sarawak rights under MA 63. On the contrary, much progress has been achieved in the discussions not only between the federal government and Sarawak, but also between Sarawak and Petronas since the Perikatan Nasional (PN) took over the federal government,” she pointed out.