Unanimous call for more autonomy for Sarawak

KUCHING: As the representatives of several political parties all sat down for a debate organised by an NGO, Sarawak For Sarawakians (S4S), the only thing one can observe is that they tried their hardest to convince voters that they unanimously want more autonomy for Sarawakians from Putrajaya.

Chaired by S4S leader Peter John Jaban and moderator Karen Shephard at one of the oldest mostly prominently Chinese residential areas Kenyalang Park, on April 10, the debate saw three representatives of political parties namely, Baru Bian from PKR, Patrick Anek anak Uren (PBDS) and Micheal Tiang (SUPP), attempting to convince some few hundred hardcore S4S supporters that they meant well and emphatised with their struggles.

The debate was themed 'Safeguard Sarawak' and Peter said some representatives from Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Singapore and even representatives from diplomats from the United Nations were in attendance that afternoon and stressed that the people of Sarawak are no longer so keen to know about its history as it is more interesting to know what the future holds for them.

"All the political parties are talking about greater autonomy now (from the Malaysian Agreement 1963) unlike say, 20 or 30 years ago, all they were concerned with was fighting for power. None of them talked about the autonomy or our rights and the agreement seemed to have eroded and forgotten because they were just so busy fighting among themselves," he said.

"Sarawak was one of the nations forming Malaysia in 1963. Now, we are just one of the 13 states. It is okay if we are one of the 13 states but we are also the poorest so that is why we are fighting for our rights and greater autonomy," added Peter as he explained S4S's struggles.

Apart from seeking the 20% oil royalty, the rights to use the English language more extensively and more freedom and places to worship for the multi-racial and multi-religious state, Peter said S4S also fought for more Sarawakians to be promoted as heads of departments in the civil service as he noted that the majority of the positions are being held by Malayans.

On their part, Baru Bian, Patrick Anek and Micheal Tiang nodded in agreement that Sarawak ought to be given more autonomy although Tiang, from SUPP, tried to rationalise that on Article 8 of the MA63, only the government can talk together on how to work together to safeguard Sarawak.

Patrick, in his debate, underlined that his political agenda was to ask for an equal partnership for Sarawak with Putrajaya as the "spirit and intent of MA63 was to make Sabah and Sarawak equal partners and not to be consumed by Malaya."

Baru strongly suggested that both the state and federal government leaders need to be changed for changes to be made for the good of the people in Sarawak as he candidly said if the roots of a tree are bad, the whole tree would not be able to grow and blossom.

"A strong government is needed to fix the situation in Sarawak and I agree with Baru Bian that we need to make our roots right only then our tree will blossom. Phase 2 of our party's agenda is to deal with the Federal Constitution and there is no need to renew the Malaysian Agreement 1963," opined Tiang.

The debate was held in conjunction with the coming state polls.

Post a Comment

Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.
Javascript DisablePlease Enable Javascript To See All Widget