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By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, Sept 9: Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) has rebutted the claims made by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that Sabah and Sarawak are better off being part of Malaysia and that both Borneo States became richer after the formation of Malaysia in 1963.
Its president Lina Soo said Dr Mahathir’s statement is akin to sticking the dagger into the heart and twisting it, after rubbing salt into the wound.
She added Dr Mahathir thinks the people are blind to the poverty in Sarawak where the suburban and rural population has no access to piped water, electricity, sanitisation, healthcare and decent schools after 58 years in Malaysia.
“Dr Mahathir therefore has no raison d’etre on moral or ethical grounds to malign Sarawakians for thinking ‘Sarawak for Sarawakians’, which mirrors the aspiration of Sarawakians for self-determination after suffering 58 years of domination, subservience and exploitation where half it was under Dr Mahathir watch.
“In fact, Dr Mahathir owes an apology to Sarawak and Sabah for failing to develop the Borneo States and even during his second bite of the cherry as the seventh prime minister where he could have made amends, (but) he continued to expend the broken promises of the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
“If Dr Mahathir is so sure that Sarawakians and Sabahans should be grateful, he should prove he is right by advocating a referendum for the people of the Borneo States to substantiate their satisfaction and happiness level after almost 60 years in Malaysia.
“If Dr Mahathir stands by his statement, he should not be afraid of any findings of a referendum to the contrary,” said Soo in a press statement today.
Soo believed only a referendum can prove Dr Mahathir’s premise that the ‘Sarawak for Sarawakians’ and ‘Sabah for Sabahans’ sentiments are needless thoughts to be discarded. — DayakDaily