Calling Sarawak a region is a ‘downgrade’ as it should be a nation, opines Soo

Lina Soo

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KUCHING, April 10: The notion of Sarawak being a ‘region’ which was declared by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has robbed it of its 180-year old history as a ‘nation’, opined Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) president Lina Soo.

Soo in a press statement today warned that the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) administration cannot simply adopt any administrative proposal without carefully considering the potential political ramifications which will constitutionally and legally supersede the provisions under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) framework to uphold the political status and rights of Sarawak.

“Indeed acquiescing to being merely a ‘wilayah’ or region is robbing Sarawak, a 180-year old nation with a history and identity, of its nationhood and territorial integrity,” she said.

Soo further opined that this endeavour was what she termed to be “a pathetic attempt at delusion” by introducing an ambiguous word to lull Sarawakians into thinking they automatically become equal partners upon becoming a region.

“As long as all our grievances and injustices over the decades remain unresolved, nothing could be further from the truth,” she added.

Meanwhile, Soo said that it was absurd that the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian had acquiesced to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s declaration.

She pointed out that the Malaysia Agreement was drawn up by the British to refer to Sarawak as a Borneo State, also known as Borneo Nation.

According to her, Sarawak was a nation, even if non-sovereign presently, because Sarawak fulfills all the criteria as a nation, with a history of 100 years’ independence sovereignty, a territory with boundaries, a permanent population of ethnicity not found outside Borneo and its own cultural identity.

“This shows that Datuk Karim and Dato Sri Sim Kui Hian are merely led by the nose and dare not question the logic, if any, of the endeavour to downgrade Sarawak’s standing into a region.

“The correct expression for Sarawak’s political status in a federation is nation, and why is the GPS administration is so terrified of bringing up the word?” she asked.

Soo said it was legitimate to use the word ‘nation’ as Tun Dr Mahathir himself had publicly admitted that Sarawak and Sabah are two Negara during his tenure as the seventh Prime Minister in an interview on September 18, 2018.

“Why are Datuk Karim and Dato Sri Sim not accepting Sarawak as a nation following Tun Mahathir’s cue, whereas they are now jumping with joy to embrace Sarawak as a region.

“Will both Ministers now refer to the states of Malaya as Wilayah Malaya, notwithstanding the fact that Semenanjung (Peninsula) Malaysia was never an appropriate term as there is no such political entity named as far as the Malaysia Agreement is concerned,” she said. — DayakDaily