Former MP: GPS, SUPP responsible for Sarawak, Sabah status downgrade in 1976

Julian Tan

KUCHING, April 7: Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak committee member Julian Tan Kok Ping says that Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) which was then in the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, together with Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) were the ones that had downgraded the status of Sarawak and Sabah to be among the 13 states by virtue of their support for the 1976 amendment.

He said that GPS had since then become silent and proved incapable of safeguarding Sarawak’s interest for 44 years, following the lead of United Malay National Organisation (Umno) in the BN coalition.

“Sadly 44 years later, even after the fall of BN they still follow Umno BN’s lead in Parliament and backtracked their support for the amendments which will serve as a backbone in restoring both Sabah and Sarawak’s status to what it was when they formed Malaysia in 1963,” said Tan in a statement today.

He added that GPS especially, SUPP, should come clean on what they have done to restore Sarawak’s rights.

“But there was nothing, even when there has been much talk by them (SUPP) prior to GE14. That’s what really counts.They (SUPP) were merely leveraging on the regional sentiment in order for them to continuingly stay in power, playing on both sides prior to GE14.mThey even continued to praise Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak as one of the country’s best Prime Ministers (PM) even when the former PM was plagued with tens of billions ringgit (worth of) scandals, money which could have been put to good use in uplifting us Sarawakians.

“Should PH (Pakatan Harapan) have not won, and formed the government, Sarawak and Sabah would still be where they were, (as) one (each) of the 13 states. Our country’s economy will continue to be in a spiral dive with multiple billion ringgit (in) overpriced mega projects.”

Tam who is a former Stampin MP believed that the proposed amendments clearly restore the status of Sabah and Sarawak to what it was before when Malaysia was formed in 1963.

“It clearly, just like what it should be in the original form, separated both Sabah and Sarawak (b) from the other 11 states (a).”

He stressed that such amendments significantly distinguish both Sabah and Sarawak from the other 11 states.

“This brings a whole new meaning in the formation of the federation of Malaysia. This is not as simple as 11 plus two equal 13 states, but it grouped the 11 states as stated in (a) AND the other two Sabah and Sarawak states (b), just like it was back in 1963.”

Tan said that this is an important first step which was not even possible during BN rule.

“Should the amendments go through, it enables us to move on to the next step, to safeguard our Sarawak interest with the new-found position. By not supporting it, GPS clearly shows that they prefer Sabah and Sarawak continue to be one of the 13 states.”

He opined it is a desperate move by GPS for survival so that they can continue to play up regional sentiment, just like they did before GE14, in view of the coming State Election. — DayakDaily