KUCHING: Sibu, and not a town in Sabah, will host the Malaysia Day celebration on Sept 16 this year, Bernama, the national news agency quoted Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah as saying on Friday.
He said the town with a population of about 200,000 was chosen at the 2020 Malaysia Day Main Committee Meeting held between the state and federal governments hled earlier in the day.
Under the rotation system as practised in the past, hosting the Malaysia Day celebration alternated between Sabah and Sarawak.
Since Sarawak were the hosts last year, it should have been Sabah’s turn this time around. Sabah last hosted the celebrations in 2018 in Kota Kinabalu.
However, it looks like the Perikatan Nasional government under Muhyiddin Yassin is playing politics, as Sabah is now an opposition territory.
“I would like to express my appreciation to the Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) and all Sarawakians on their willingness to host the event for the second year in a row,” he said at the Malaysia Day press conference and launch of the 2020 National Month logo.
Earlier, Saifuddin paid a courtesy call on Sarawak Utilities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, who is also the state minister responsible for the Malaysia Day 2020 celebration.
Meanwhile, at the same press conference, Dr Rundi said hosting the event for two consecutive years was something significant for Sarawak and indeed the state government was honoured.
Dr Rundi said the state government had actually applied to hold the celebration here this year after hosting it in 2019.
“This year’s celebration will be organised according to standard operating procedures (SOP) which have been set and will be held in an indoor area such as a hotel, where attendance is by invitation,” he said.
Last year the Malaysia Day celebration held at Stadium Perpaduan in Kuching, was attended by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and Abang Johari.