Borneo natives share same special position as Malays under Federal Constitution, says Sarawak activist

Peter John Jaban

By Shikin Louis

KUCHING, Dec 18: Sarawak can never support a Malaysia that bans indigenous people of Borneo who share the same special position as the Malays under the Federal Constitution from becoming the Prime Minister, says social activist Peter John Jaban.

He was commenting over Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) MP Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal’s statement uploaded on his Facebook page on Dec 14, proposing that the Prime Minister post should be restricted to Malays only.

Peter John said there would be no Malaysia without Sarawak and Sabah and their majority non-Malay populations.

“As a component part of a new nation, we Sarawakians have always accepted a Malay Prime Minister. It has been this way since Malaysia was formed, as the solidarity of the Malay electorate and the prominence of our Malay leaders so far have decided.

“But a Malaysia in which the indigenous people of Borneo who share the same special position as the Malays under the Federal Constitution, are barred from ever holding the top office is not a Malaysia which we can support,” he said in a statement today.

Peter John further said that there would be no unity government without Sabah and Sarawak MPs as well as the vital partnership of the Chinese and Indian MPs, which brought political stability when the 15th General Election (GE15) ended in a hung Parliament.

“In the last election, Malay voters were hopelessly divided between an Islamic fundamentalist party, a Malay supremacist party and a more moderate, multi-cultural party. The last is the party from which the current Malay Prime Minister (Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim) was chosen, to bring stability after political unrest and form the government.

“Now, a handful of Malay MPs want to use that majority created by a unity government to deny all the rest of us any chance at ever leading our nation? That is shameful. I can only hope that these unity MPs will stand against it.

“I think it is inevitable that one day Malaysia’s democracy will mature to such an extent that we will stop electing on the basis of race and start selecting our leaders for their skills and contribution,” he added.

At the same time, Peter John noted that Sarawak previously had Iban and Melanau chief ministers and now a Malay Premier despite the fact that Malays are not the majority race in the State.

The same goes for the Sarawak Governor position, he said, which allows balance in representation between the Dayaks and Malays.

“Who knows that when our current Premier (Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg) retires, perhaps we will have a Dayak Premier again. Only the rakyat (people) can decide that.

“Whoever is chosen, he or she will still be required to serve all Sarawakians equally, regardless of race or religion. This is the basis on which the Borneo States formed Malaysia,” he pointed out. — DayakDaily