TODAY is an important day in which all Sarawakians observe Sarawak Day or Sarawak Independence Day.

This historical day celebrates the establishment of self-government for Sarawak on July 22, 1963 from the British Empire, before the formation of the federation of Malaysia.

Sarawakians have expressed their wish for the state to continue to prosper, and most importantly to see more rights returned to its people.

Here, sharing their hopes and aspirations are all the Women chiefs of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) component parties.

Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah

Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Women chief Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah

Covid-19 has impacted a lot of our people, especially the poor, including the urban poor. It has also affected the micro-macro women entrepreneurs, single mothers, early childhood education operators.

Therefore, it is my hope that they are resilient enough to restart, rise up against all odds to achieve wellbeing.

In addition, the gap between the haves and the have-nots in terms of income has widened and there is a need to address this too.

Datuk Seri Doris Sophia Brodie

Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) Women chief Datuk Seri Doris Sophia Brodie

First and foremost, I want to see Sarawak continue to be colourful in culture, tradition and warmth in its inter-relationship with each other regardless of creed and colour. May we continue to upkeep the good value of understanding and accommodation of each other’s differences to be our prime value and an element envied by others.

It is my hope too that our GPS government under the current leadership prosper and continues to be focused and far sighted in planning and further developing Sarawak. This includes uplifting the standard of living of all Sarawakians whilst it remains steadfast in the fight for Sarawak’s rights.

I also look forward to the 12th Malaysia Plan. I am certain various infrastructure and mega developments will take place to gear Sarawak towards a developed state by 2030 while efforts to strengthen our human capital development must continue.

Datuk Chiew Yen Chew

Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) Women chief Datuk Chiew Yen Chew

As a Sarawakian, I look forward to the restoration of all our rights enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

On this day, I feel a need to mention the Covid-19 crisis as a defining moment for our state which will be forever remembered for the state’s collective efforts to save the lives of Sarawakians.

For all its strengths and its admirable governance and qualities, the GPS government will continue in a direction that will bring the state and its people towards a safe, prosperous and harmonious state.

Furthermore, the pride in what the present state government has done in development, contributing prosperity and harmony is not part of the past, but it defines our present and our future.

Kho Teck Wan

Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Women chief Kho Teck Wan

I hope Sarawak continues to be the role model for unity in diversity. We shall not be complacent in terms of unity and harmony.

Looking back at my Chinese parents who speak Iban fluently, I think we are not doing better than our ancestors. So, I hope Sarawakians set a high standard to not only maintain but work hard to foster inter-racial and religious harmony.

All Sarawakians should celebrate the day and remember our history. July 22, 1963 was the day when the Sarawak legislature was led by Sarawakians. Our former leaders fought bravely to prove that they are capable of ruling the land.

Handing over political power to Sarawakians by the British was the sign of confidence towards our former leaders. Our founding fathers had set a great example to all Sarawakians and our current leaders had proven that Sarawak is well managed and protected. Therefore, I hope Sarawakians would not be influenced by outsiders who tell us ‘our people are lazy, we are inferior, and we cannot manage our finance’.

I also hope that Sarawakians remember on July 22, 2020 that Sarawak is fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

We celebrate Sarawak Day in a very different way but our spirit remains strong. Our leaders focused all their attention on providing financial and food aid to the people while the opposition parties focused their attention on fighting for the prime minister’s position and spreading fake news.

I wish every Sarawakian a happy Sarawak Day. Continue to stay healthy, wear face mask, practise good hygiene and love Sarawak.