Published on: Thursday, August 22, 2013
Organising Committee Chairman Jalumin Bayogoh said "Sabah Independence Walk Day" aims to remind Sabahans of the 50th Anniversary of the State's Independence Day, with the theme being "We Must Know."
The one-day programme is divided into two activities - a walk and forum.
"The reason for the event is to commemorate Sabah's independence on Aug 31, 1963, contrary to what has been happening, whereby Sabahans observe Independence from Aug 31, 1957," he said, here, Wednesday.
He said the programme aims to tell Sabahans that it has been only 50 years of independence, instead of 56 which only applies to West Malaysians.
Bayogoh explained further that prior to Sept 16, 1963, Sabah was also an independent nation for 16 days, as North Borneo, before joining Sarawak, Malaya and Singapore to form the Federation.
"Initially, Sept 16, was a celebration of the official birthday of the Head of State. But BHF has fought to have it recognised as Malaysia Day.
That was four years ago," he said.
He said the rally would begin from the bus stop in front of the Sabah courthouse before heading towards Star City, passing through Kg Air and that banners would be carried during the rally.
By noon, the forum will take place at the Star City Convention Centre, involving three main speakers, namely, Universiti Malaysia Sabah lecturer, Arnold Puyok, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak's Dr Hasmadih Muis and BHF President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.
Bayogoh said a number of 'veterans' born before the Independence Day will also share their take on the historical date.
"We anticipate about 150 to 300 people will take part in the walk, mostly members of BHF and a number of local non-governmental bodies and some from Sarawak," he said.
Bayogoh said he plans to replicate the BHF success in Sarawak, by helping Sarawakians to recognise its Independence Day on July 22, 1963.