Friday, September 18, 2009

Historical Musical Diversion : Fair Land Sarawak


Do you remember when we were small and the flag for Sarawak was still the above, the state anthem was named "Fair Land Sarawak" and we were all taught to sing it? Do you still remember its tune? The words?

Well, here it is to jog your memory ...

Fair land Sarawak we will never cease to honour thee

And with our Loyal Sons defend your Liberty

From your high forest hills down to the open sea

May freedom ever reign, men live in unity

Proudly our flag flies high above our Country strong and free

Long may our people live in peace and Harmony.

The lyrics was written by F.C. Ogden and the music revised and arranged by G.R.K. Freeth.

And on the Web, I also found an Iban translation by Umpang Ujai. The anthem was also sung in Chinese and Malay, but I can't seem to find those lyrics. Anyway this is for our Iban readers

Pemanah Sarawak kami selalu mri puji

Nyaga penglantang menoa, anak kami

Ari bukit,kampong ngagai tasik nyadi

Pemaik meruan, kami begempang ati

Tinggi menira bediri datas menoa kami

Gayu mensia diau ikun enggau rami

I wanted to find an MP3 version of the song and post it here, but couldn't find one. If any of you do, please share it with me. For what it's worth, I felt that "Fair Land Sarawak" had a nice tune and the words were pretty good too. I can still remember it after all these years - that in itself says something.
"Fair Land Sarawak" was also the title of a book by a former British colonial officer named Alistair Morrison, that you may be able to find in a Malaysian library.

The Sarawak anthem that was used from 1973-1988 can be played in this following video. I also vaguely remember singing it in schooldays ...


  1. no audio or video clip? maybe some of the old boys should come together and sing it & record a video clip for WJ to post. LOL

  2. i liked this old flag. thought the red, white blue one was ugly and uncreative. luckily they later changed it back to one that looked like this original.

  3. The red white blue is also the flag of Czechoslovakia. Only that it is upside down.
    To fly a country's flag upside down indicates the country in distress. So flying that Sarawak flag indicates Czech in distress and vice versa. Good thing that they replaced it.

  4. Yuup, this was one of the best anthems we had. Can't even recall the one after this ... or the present one for that matter. No impact laaa.

  5. I also remember the other anthem.

  6. Ya, that last anthem (1973-88) was changed when Abdul Rahman Yakub was CM.

    And then later Taib changed it again, together with the flag.