Why the deafening silence from S’wak leaders on NSC Act?

COMMENT: Since the passing of the National Security Act, key Sarawak leaders have not commented anything on the Act or on the state’s demand for autonomy in education, taxation and health, devolution of powers and the call for hgher gas royalty from 5% to 20%.

Neither have Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) leaders like Abdul Karim Hamzah and Dr Stephen Rundi said anything about the Act. Usually they are the first ones who would comment on anything that is controversial. But not this time. Why?

Only Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president and Senator Dr Sim Kui Hian and Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president and Land Development Minister Dr James Masing did express some concerns about the Act.

Even then their comments came after it was passed in Parliament. But what is the point of making such comments when their MPs supported the Bill? Did they merely want to be heard?

Without the support of the MPs from Sarawak (25 from BN and six from the Opposition), the bill might not have been passed. But there you are, all the 25 BN MPs gave their support.

Did the instruction to support the Bill come from Chief Minister Adenan?

So the general public and the Opposition are asking if this could be the reason why the chief minister is silent over this Bill, which the general public fears, will derail Sarawak’s demand for autonomy in education, taxation and heath as well as higher oil and gas royalty?

Under the Act, Najib’s power to declare any area as “security area” is similar to the power to impose curfew in the days of the communist insurgency.

As Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen put it: “The Act can be used to justify suppression by the federal government against Sarawak, especially on our autonomy movement in Sarawak.

“The prime minister may use the excuse that the 20% royalty to Sarawak will greatly reduce the revenue of the federal government and thereby cause economic instability to the country, and thus suppress all demands for 20% oil and gas royalties,

“The prime minister may also use the excuse that it will undermine the status of Bahasa Malaysia and thereby affect the socio-political stability of the country or even use the excuse of affecting ‘national unity’ to go against the state government’s said decision,” said Chong, the MP for Bandar Kuching and Kota Sentosa assemblyperson.

He said Najib may also use the excuse that it affects the socio-political stability of the country and declare Sarawak as a “security area” whereby the security forces will take over the running of the state government.

On the state’s demands for greater autonomy, Najib’s answer to that will be to use as an excuse under the “territorial integrity” to declare Sarawak as a “security area”.

Chong said the state leaders’ silence on the Act and the support given by the BN MPs to the Act will certainly put a dent in Adenan’s “hero image”.

“He may be the No. 1 hero in Sarawak, having the courage to speak against the Umno, but ultimately when his MPs go to Parliament, they have to toe Umno’s line, to the detriment of Sarawak’s interest,” he said.

As chief minister and lawyer, there is no reason to say that Adenan is unaware of the potential threat of the NSC to Sarawak.

Chong’s colleague, Padungan assemblyman Wong King Wei shares similar concerns when he described the Act as tending “to destroy the movement initiated by Sarawakian for Independence and Autonomy”.

Wong said that the NSC Act moved by the Najib’s administration will be used by the Barisan National government to suppress Sarawakians, even to the extent that the prime minister will have absolute power under the Act to declare emergency in Sarawak.

“The NSC Act is an Act that moves the country towards dictatorship. The basic value of democracy will be destroyed.

“The Act is a tool used by the BN government to destroy the people’s voice. Yet, Sarawak MPs and Senators supported the passing of the Act.

“It shows that the Sarawak Barisan National does not wish to see more autonomy for Sarawakians,” Wong added.

He said that the chief minister has to explain why he allowed his MPs and Senators to support the passing of the Act to suppress the voice of Sarawakians for greater autonomy?

Another opposition lawmaker See Chee How said that the state government should examine the consequences of the Act and to protest strongly against it.

It will make the state government subservient to the National Security Council, he said.

“This is a frontal attack on the constitutional federalism that this country is practising, a legislative scheme which was not envisaged nor intended by country’s founding fathers,” he said, urging the state government of Sarawak and Sabah to demand that this piece of federal legislature be referred to the federal court to review its constitutionality.

See, who is the Batu Lintang assemblyman and Sarawak PKR vice-chairman, felt that it is an insult that the chief ministers of Sarawak and Sabah are not included as members in the NSC.-The Ant Daily

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