Malaysia: Sarawak's Independence from British Colonisation

July 22 was gazetted as a public holiday by the Sarawak Government under Chief Minister (the late) Tan Sri Adenan Satem in 2016. The statewide holiday commemorates Sarawak’s independence from the British. Sarawak gained independence from or was granted sefl-government by the British on July 22, 1963, on the condition that Sarawak would jointly form the Federation of Malaysia together with the other states in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah on September 16 the same year.

On July 22, 1963, before the self-government ceremony, Alexander Waddell, the last British Governor of Sarawak boarded a white sampan (boat) from his residence, the Astana to cross the Sarawak River and handed the administration of Sarawak to the people. The colonial Union Jack was lowered and the Sarawak flag was raised. As such, July 22, 1963 marked the beginning of Sarawak as a nation before the formation of Malaysia.

July 22 is also known as Sarawak Day.