KUCHING, July 1: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii urges Sarawakians to be more tolerant towards West Malaysians so as to be able to move forward for the benefit of Malaysia as a whole.
He said the stigma of Malayans hating Sarawakians had been implanted into the minds of Sarawakians for generations when the Barisan Nasional (BN)-led government was in power.
This was because all this while, Sarawak, as a reflection of the previous BN government, had been too timid in defending its rights as a member of the Malaysian coalition, and it had caused Sarawakians to cave in due to being ‘bullied’ by their federal counterparts.
“My thoughts: one thing I see Sarawak has been progressing in is the awareness and fight for the state’s autonomy and rights. I am all for our rightful rights and the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“But lately I see this trend is becoming more toxic. We in Sarawak with all kinds of beliefs and background have become so rejecting of West Malaysians.
“We cannot change the fact that Sarawak and Sabah were sidelined. So we tend to cave in. Do not get me wrong as I am for our rights, but this should not isolate us from the whole of Malaysia. Instead it should make us stronger,” Dr Yii said during the ‘Malaysia Baru: Adakah Rakyat Boss?’ forum organised by Rise of Sarawak Efforts at a hotel in the city this afternoon.
Yii, who is also special assistant to Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen, said the move by Sarawak’s former BN component parties to exit the coalition to form Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) was actually a step backwards.
He said he had hoped Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg would take a step forward and become a bigger leader in BN.
“Let’s not think small. We have to think big. This is not just about Sarawak but about the whole of Malaysia.
“Let us together build a conducive environment through acceptance and tolerance with our counterparts in West Malaysia. Instead of blaming them, let us come together and bring Malaysia forward,” said Dr Yii.
Meanwhile, Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How said Sarawak PH will continue to pursue the state’s rights under the MA63 as it was enshrined in its election manifesto.
See, who is also Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak vice-chairman, said PH would need some time to fulfill all of its manifesto, and urged the people to be patient.
“We cannot have a ‘Malaysia Baru’ immediately right after the change of government. We need time and I think PH can fulfill it.
“As for the devolution of power to Sarawak, we can emulate the United Kingdom where its members like England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are totally independent of each other, but they report to the Parliament.
“Therefore the MA63 is still important to us because it gives us status of equal partners in the Federation of Malaysia.
“‘Malaysia Baru’ is not automatic and would need some time to happen. We are progressing very fast and I hope we can achieve it soon,” he said. — DayakDaily