Whenever there is an event or occasion for celebration, the rightful response will be for anyone to think of all the blessings and gifts that made the event possible.
This year, we are celebrating 40 years of independence. We refer to this year’s 40th anniversary celebrations as Sarawak’s “Jubli Delima” or Ruby Jubilee. Just as a ruby gemstone had to be forged in fire to bring out its fiery brilliance and dazzle, Sarawak has gone through its moments of testing as a young, democratic nation within Malaysia and has emerged victorious. After 40 years of independence, Sarawak can now take its place in the national and international arena with pride and confidence.
The 130-year old Sarawak Ga8izette bears testimony to all those struggles and triumphs. Within its pages can be gleaned the hopes and concerns, the dreams and aspirations, and the plans and directions that turned our struggles into success and our trials into triumphs. Within the pages of the Sarawak Gazette, we can take a journey from one era to another – from the days of the white Rajahs to the colonial administration and to the present era where Sarawakians are able to govern the affairs of the State admirably well.
We will certainly be moved and inspired by the stories of dedicated health workers, extension agents and other government officers who had to travel on foot, over hills and valleys, for days on end to serve far-flung villages and longhouses. We can share in the sense of pride of craftsmen and artists, and learn of the symbols and meanings behind the peculiar designs and patterns of their creations. We can vicariously experience the joy and merriment of local festivals and celebrations – a Malay wedding, an Iban harvest gathering, the naming ritual of an Orang Ulu infant, a sports carnival or regatta. We can understand both our leaders’ vision for Sarawak, and the aspirations of a young student for his land of birth. These are the sentiments and emotions, the facts and the details, the memories and the hopes that we can glean from the Sarawak Gazette because it is a publication “that captures the spirit of Sarawak”.
In this special Delima Edition of the Sarawak Gazette, we have attempted to select articles that can explain the reasons why we can rightfully bask in a sense of triumph as we celebrate our 40 years of independence. It is our hope that as you read the articles in this edition, you will be able to feel a sense of pride as you realize how much we had to overcome, and how much we should be thankful for, to be where we are right now.
Datu Haji Salleh bin Haji Sulaiman