Demand for referendum may arise if talks to amend Federal Constitution fails — Dr Sim

Dr Sim raising the SUPP flag to commemorate its 60th anniversary celebration at the party headquarters in Kuching today (June 4, 2019).

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By Geryl Ogilvy

KUCHING, June 4: Sarawakians might take matters into their own hands and even demand for a referendum should the ongoing discussion to incorporate the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) in the Federal Constitution stalls.

Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian cautioned that the voices of the people were getting stronger by the day in demanding for a positive outcome.

“On the MA63, if politicians are not handling it, (but) there is no progress, the next thing is that the people will decide. As a political party, we must be aware of this.

“We can’t keep on saying ‘give it more time’ anymore. Voices of the people will get louder in demanding a referendum if there is no political will to right the wrong on the erosion of Sarawak’s rights,” he told reporters after a flag-raising ceremony to commemorate SUPP’s 60th anniversary at party headquarters, here, today.

Dr Sim reminded that Sarawak formed Malaysia as an equal partner and should not be treated as “an entity previously colonised by the British only to change hands to another master in Putrajaya”.

“Sarawak, without Malaysia, would still exist. We had oil and gas long before the formation of Malaysia. This resource should be the inheritance of Sarawakians.

“This year, we started our financial independence when we implemented a 5 per cent sales tax on oil and gas. The state government is also ready to take over health and education matters,” he said.

Sarawak, Dr Sim reckoned, was better off governed by Sarawakians who understand the needs of the people and are not afraid to fight for their rights.

Local parties, especially Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) coalition members, were fit to protect and fight for Sarawak’s rights as they were not bound by any political master, especially those from the peninsula, he said.

“We were part of a national coalition before and everything had to be done through a consensus, where our proposals cannot benefit the state alone. Now, we have formed our own coalition, and we will fight for Sarawak all the way. It is about putting Sarawak first,” he said.

Dr Sim also made reference to Penang-born Loh Ee Eng, who was appointed as an assemblyman under Democratic Action Party (DAP)’s quota in the Sabah Legislative Assembly.

A naturalised Sabahan can be appointed to public office, including as nominated members of the State Assembly.

However, Dr Sim perceived this as a decision by Sabah DAP based on the influence of their federal counterpart.

From, second from left: SUPP secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting, Dr Sim, past president Tan Sri Dr George Chan, vice-president Datuk Lee Kim Shin and other party leaders commemorate the party’s 60th anniversary in a symbolic cake-cutting ceremony.

On SUPP’s 60th anniversary, he said it was time for its members to re-examine the original spirit and struggles of the party.

When asked about Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chairman Baru Bian being tasked to head the election machinery in preparation for the state election that is due in 2021, Dr Sim said all political parties in GPS had their own respective committee (to prepare for the election).

Most importantly, Sarawakians must look at the track record of the state ruling coalition in comparison to the Pakatan government, he added. — DayakDaily