KUCHING — The Sarawak Day 2016 celebration tomorrow will focus on the “Nine Cardinal Principles”, a constitution drafted by the third Rajah of Sarawak, Charles Vyner Brooke.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Openg said the constitution, which was an agreement and “guarantee” by Vyner Brooke, consisted of nine main principles which stated, among others, administrative powers would be handed over to the local people in 1941.
“The constitution was enacted in September 1941 but we were attacked by the Japanese in December 1941, so the constitution was never executed,” Abang Johari told reporters during the final rehearsal of the celebration at the Kuching Waterfront yesterday.
“After Japan surrendered, Vyner Brooke returned to Sarawak to continue his plans to hand over the administrative power to the people. However at the time, the state had no funds to develop itself.
“Due to such constraints, the British took over to help administer the state.”
July 22 has been gazetted as a public holiday for the first time in the state this year.
Abang Johari said the celebration would also focus on historical events in 1963 when Malaysia was formed including the special privileges accorded to Sarawak in the agreement.
“We will display the agreement, Sarawak’s rights, which we must defend in Malaysia. We want the people to know Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem and we in the government will defend the constitutional rights of the people of Sarawak,” he said.
The Sarawak Day celebration will also feature reenactments of Sarawak’s history, starting from the rule of the Sultanate of Brunei in 1599 to 1842 and the Rajah Brooke administrative period from 1842 to 1941.
The reenactments will also feature the Japanese reign in 1941 to 1945 and the British colonial rule from 1946 to July 22, 1963. — Bernama