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KUCHING, March 11: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Youth chief Michael Tiang rebutted the remarks by state Democratic Action Party (DAP) chief Chong Chieng Jen that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government was the culprit that reduced Sabah and Sarawak’s status to be two of the 13 states.
Tiang said Chong also alleged that it was Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB) and SUPP who gave up Sarawak’s equal partner status in 1976.
“I want to point out that once again Chong embarked on another wild accusation and (made) irresponsible remarks to confuse Sarawak people ….He being the only one and the only Sarawakian deputy minister has made these irresponsible remarks in the past when he was in the opposition camp,” Tiang said at a press conference to rebut Chong’s remarks at SUPP headquarters here today.
“Now he is a deputy minister for the new Pakatan Harapan government, he continues to make the same irresponsible remarks,” he added.
Citing the Hansard in 1976, Tiang who is also a political secretary to the Chief Minister said that he wanted to set the record straight that to be exact, the matter of the Bill to reduce Sabah and Sarawak into two of the 13 states occurred over two days on July 12 and 13, 1976.
He said the Hansard showed that the truth that all political parties in 1976 actually supported the Bill including Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who was in BN at that time and DAP’s Lim Kit Siang.
“Amazing enough Mahathir, and Lim are the only surviving and living Members of Parliament (then) who are still Members of Parliament today. And they were involved in supporting the Bill to reduce Sabah and Sarawak to one of the 13 states,” he pointed out.
Tiang said he is puzzled and questions why Chong has not confronted Mahathir and Lim about what exactly happened in 1976.
“What caused everyone to support the Bill? No one, if you refer to the Hansard, not a single person said “No” to the amendment. I am all open for an open debate if DAP wants to do it and I am just reading from historical facts recorded in the Hansard,” he said.
“Enough of politicking and wild allegation made by Chong. Our 2.7 million Sarawakians deserve to know the truth instead of wild allegations.
“Therefore I suggest that Chong or his colleagues in Parliament or the whole of DAP in Parliament, that they should put forward a question to our prime minister Mahathir and Lim in Parliament which started today (March 11) to debate on the amendment of the Constitution Article 1 sub 2.”
Tiang opined that this is the best moment for Chong who is the Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs to put forward the question to Mahathir and LIm.
“This is a rare opportunity to ask the only surviving Members of Parliament from 1976. Ask them what happened as we want to know, including myself. I wanted to asked some of my seniors in the party (SUPP) but they are no longer around,” he lamented.
“There is no point for Chong to make political accusations against the new generation of SUPP leaders. Our president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian in 1976 was still running in the school yard and I was only three-years-old. We are the new batch of leaders. And if he (Chong) really wants to know the truth then Chong should refer to Mahathir and Lim Kit Siang,” he suggested.
Tiang also took the opportunity to slam the PH government for allocating Sarawak RM3.4 billion in the 2019 budget, which is only as good as a share for one of the 13 states, which showed Sarawak was being downgraded by the PH government again, and he claimed Chong was silent on the matter despite him being part of the government.
“Now what the point for him (Chong) to come out and jump on this wagon now when the PH government decided to amend the article to restore our equal partner status? How I wish Chong is like his colleague the Minister of Law Liew Vui Keong of Sabah who works hard for the position Sabah and Sarawak instead of politicking. My bottom line is Chong, our representative in the federal government, is politicking too much instead of doing his job for Sarawakians,” he said. — DayakDaily