Sarawak Independence Day in Malaysia

Sarawak Independence Day, also known as Hari Merdeka Sarawak, is an important annual celebration in the Malaysian state of Sarawak. It marks the day when Sarawak gained self-governance and became an independent state within Malaysia. Sarawak Independence Day is celebrated on July 22 every year.


Sarawak Independence Day has been celebrated since 2013, when the Sarawak state government officially declared July 22 as a public holiday. The date marks the anniversary of the 1963 event when Sarawak was granted self-governance by the British colonial government. On July 22, 1963, the last British Governor, Sir Alexander Waddell, officially handed over the administration of Sarawak to the local government, led by Sarawak's first Chief Minister, Stephen Kalong Ningkan. This event marked the beginning of Sarawak's journey towards joining the Federation of Malaysia, which was formally established on September 16, 1963.


National customs for Sarawak Independence Day in Malaysia

Sarawak Independence Day is primarily celebrated in the state of Sarawak, but Malaysians from other states also join in the festivities to show their support and solidarity. The celebration typically begins with the hoisting of the Malaysian flag, Jalur Gemilang, and the Sarawak state flag. Various events and activities are organized throughout the day, including parades, cultural performances, and exhibitions showcasing Sarawak's rich history and cultural heritage.

The state government also organizes official ceremonies and events to commemorate the occasion, with the participation of key political figures and distinguished guests. Speeches, highlighting the importance of unity and the ongoing development of Sarawak, are delivered by prominent personalities.

Local customs for Sarawak Independence Day in Malaysia

In Sarawak, the local communities play a significant role in celebrating Sarawak Independence Day. The diverse ethnic groups in Sarawak, including the Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu, and Melanau, showcase their unique customs and traditions through various performances, such as traditional dances and music.

Local food stalls and bazaars are set up, offering a wide range of Sarawakian delicacies and handicrafts, allowing visitors to experience and appreciate the rich cultural diversity of the state. Educational programs and activities are also organized to promote awareness of Sarawak's history and the significance of its independence.


Sarawak Independence Day is a significant celebration in Malaysia, particularly in the state of Sarawak. It serves as a reminder of the historical journey that led to Sarawak becoming an integral part of the Malaysian Federation. The day is filled with festivities that showcase the diverse cultures and traditions of Sarawak, fostering unity and pride among its people.