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SAPP Supports Sabah Day to be Gazetted

Kota Kinabalu, 6 July 2021

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) welcomes and supports Datuk Dr Jeffery Kitingan’s plan to gazette 31 August as “Sabah Day” to be an official Independence Day celebration for Sabah.

Its deputy president Japiril Suhaimin, who was twice the organizing chairman of Sabah Day, in 2015 and 2017 at Kundasang, said Sabah Day will further manifest its recognition of Sabah as a Region announced by the Prime Minister in Sarawak earlier this year. It will be in line with the promise of restoring the rights of Sabah in accordance with the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63).

“Apart from that, “Sabah Day” will clarify some issues and debates related to Sabah’s Independence on 31 August 1963 from the British before forming the Federation of Malaysia on 16 Sept of the same year. As Sarawak has gazetted July 22 as Sarawak Day, now is the time for Sabah to do so,” Japiril said.

“The word Sabah Day became popular again around 2012 when the Progressive Institute of Public Policy Analysis (PIPPA) held several forums to discuss the topic of Independence and the direction of Sabah based on history in Kota Kinabalu followed by other NGOs such as Borneo Heritage Foundation (BHF) with its ‘Borneo Tea Parties’. Later the same year SAPP held a massive celebration at Chong Thien Vun Park. Although at the time, many accused that it was politically motivated, its leaders continued to organize programs to commemorate Sabah’s Independence in collaboration with Sabah Youth Solidarity (SYS) in 2013 and 2014 at Lintasan Deasoka Kota Kinabalu.

“After the United Sabah Alliance (Gabungan Sabah) was established, we held Sabah Day in 2015 in Kundasang and followed by Kota Marudu a year later, and then returned to Kundasang in 2017, and every year other NGOs took turns organizing it such as BHF (2018), Pipa (2019/2020).

“The history of Sabah’s Independence will be the pride of the people of Sabah and its younger generation will create a spirit of patriotism among the people. It may also dismiss the notion that Sabah belongs to the Sulu sultan aka the Philippine claim which was hotly debated.

“Gazettement of Sabah Day should be considered an important issue and should get unanimous support from the Sabah assembly,” he said.