2 reasons why Sarawak could not have a better Malaysia Agreement in 1963

Lau (6th right) in a group photo with Wan Junaidi (6th left) and others in the presence of Susan (4th left) after the dialogue.

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By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, June 29: Sarawak could not have a better deal from the formation of Malaysia in 1963 as most Sarawakians were uneducated and ignorant about the implications of joining the federation, opined Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Bawang Assan branch chairman Robert Lau Hui Yew.

He asserted that before the formation of Malaysia, there were just four graduates in Sarawak.

“When you read this history, in the book entitled `Sejarah Malaysia dan Singapura’ published in 1975. When you read this book of 322 pages, not a single word of the Malaysia Agreement 1963. Not a single word was mentioned. Only the last two pages are on “Pembetukan Malaysia” (on the formation of Malaysia).

“And only the last four paragraphs it talks about Sarawak and Sabah. That’s our history. That’s what we have been taught, and that’s why we are ignorant. And that was the case in the last 40 to 50 years. That’s why this kind of forum is very useful,” he emphasised.

Law was presenting his talk at the ‘Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the Federal Constitution, OMO58 and MA63 Public Dialogue’ organised by Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Women at Kuching South City Council (MBKS) here today.

Lau, a qualified lawyer by training and currently serves as deputy chairman of Sibu Rural District Council, stressed that if Sarawakians continued to be ignorant, then it would only make them suffer.

“We have to rely on ourselves. The support must come from the support and awareness of the people. Now many people and a lot of politicians are fly by night and have no idea (about MA63). So, you need to read a lot in order to know, and by joining this type of forum is really a good thing,” he said.

Meanwhile, Santubong MP Dato Sri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, in his presentation, expressed his confidence that GPS under Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg would make good the promises to get the best results out of the current negotiations with the federal government.

“The present government under Abang Johari, I’m very sure, we are going to get (the best deal) … so that Sarawakians can participate in oil and gas exploration and participating in the industry itself.

“This is good enough for us because to establish something like Petronas, which is a world-class corporation, it will take us a long, long time. That’s why it’s better to claim what is ours. That’s what the state government is doing with the existing laws in Sarawak.

“So, if you explore and extract our oil and gas, then we tax you ‘lah’, which could be in the billions. That’s is worthwhile to pursue,” he added.

The public dialogue is a joint collaboration and initiative by the four components parties of GPS Women. It was moderated by Susan Anding, who is a political secretary to the chief minister. — DayakDaily