Sarawak to hold grand celebration to mark 60 years of independence within Malaysia

State Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah showing the logo of Sarawak’s celebration of 60 years of independence within Malaysia. - ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KUCHING: Sarawak will celebrate 60 years of independence within Malaysia with a grand line-up of events this year.

State Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the celebration, themed "Sarawak Maju Makmur" (Sarawak Advanced and Prosperous), would instill pride in Sarawakians besides strengthening unity, mutual respect and tolerance.

He said it would kick off with a convoy travelling across the state, starting in Lawas in northern Sarawak on May 28 and ending in Kuching on July 22.

"The Premier (Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg) has said he will go on the second stage of the convoy from Miri to Bintulu on June 10," he told a press conference after chairing a meeting on the celebration here on Friday (March 24).

Abdul Karim said the convoy would be accompanied by a digital exhibition of Sarawak’s past 60 years.

He said the highlight of the celebration would take place on Sarawak Day, which falls on July 22, starting with a parade of 60 contingents and the raising of the state flag at Padang Merdeka here.

This will be followed by the presentation of commemorative medals to recipients for their service to Sarawak.

There will also be a state dinner at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly complex as well as a concert featuring local and international artists at Padang Merdeka, finishing with a fireworks display.

The celebration will continue with a parade of decorated boats on the Sarawak River here on July 29, while street parades will take place in Kuching on Aug 5, Sibu (Aug 12) and Miri (Aug 19).

"It's going to be very grand. We expect large numbers of visitors, including Sarawakians living elsewhere, to come for the various events throughout the celebration," Abdul Karim said.

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