By Frank Julian Anak Martin @ Martin Usei
SIBU, Sept 14 -- The selection of Sibu as the host for the 2020 Malaysia Day celebration is of great significance.
Former Sibu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) president Dr Gregory Hii Sui Cheng said it was in Sibu that the crucial meeting to determine whether Sarawak should remain a British colony or to help form Malaysia as a sovereign and independent nation.
It was held at the residence of the late Tan Sri Ling Beng Siew, the then Sarawak Chinese Association (SCA) president, he said.
The residence, located at No. 25 Jalan Lanang, has been declared a historical site and named “Rumah Malaysia” on Aug 29, 1983. It was here that political leaders from Sarawak National Party (Snap), Parti Negara Sarawak (Panas), Barisan Rakyat Jati Sarawak (Barjasa), SCA and Parti Pesaka Anak Sarawak (Pesaka) met and chose independence through Malaysia.
“Sibu had an important role in the formation of Malaysia. We did face ups and downs over the years, but it should not stop us from commemorating the day.
“Let us fly Jalur Gemilang together as we have a very good valid reason to do so,” he said to Bernama recently.
Hii said the people in Sibu should be proud to have the division selected to host the celebration.
Although there may not be a large gathering to mark the occasion due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, he said, the celebration would put Sibu under the spotlight at the national level.
“There was unhappiness during the early stage of forming Malaysia in Sibu, but the past is past, we have become what we are now and let us respect it," he added.
Hii said the people should give recognition to the event and fly the national flag to commemorate the formation of Malaysia.
“It is a very significant day for us Malaysians, but we cannot accuse those who did not fly the flag as not being patriotic. By not flying the flag, it does not mean they are not patriotic,” he added.
Hii said he could not understand why most people in the country do not fly the Jalur Gemilang, especially during the National Month.
“The government should work on how to get people to do it. It is not going to be easy, but working hand in hand with the private sector will be a good start,” he said, adding that the local council could play an important role in encouraging people to fly the Jalur Gemilang.
Meanwhile, Sibu chairman of the Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU), Chambai Lindong said as citizens of the country, Malaysians could celebrate the occasion with just a simple gesture by flying the Jalur Gemilang at their homes and premises.
“Moreover, with Sibu having been chosen to host the Malaysia Day celebration this year, we should all be flying the Jalur Gemilang,” he added.
Pertubuhan Berita Nasional Malaysia
No.28 Jalan BERNAMA
Off Jalan Tun Razak
50400 Kuala Lumpur
Tel : +603-2693 9933 (Talian Am)
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org