KUCHING, July 21: As Sarawak celebrates her 57th independence anniversary tomorrow (July 22), Batu Kitang assemblyman Lo Khere Chiang hopes the federal government would look into making sure that the state has one-third representation in Parliament.
“Our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has rightfully stated a few days ago that we will continue to fight for our rights in restoring the allocation of one-third representation for East Malaysia. He warned that without the one-third, the constitution can be amended with more power distribution for Peninsular Malaysia.
“Our first prime minister, the father of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman had said that the days of imperialism are gone and it is not the intention of Malaya to perpetuate or revive them when the Borneo territories become part of Malaysia they will cease to be colonies, they will be partners of equal status, no more or no less than the other states,” Lo highlighted in his Independence Day statement today.
He asserted that Malaya since then has not treated Sarawak fairly for the state has received little from its own oil and gas, a mere five per cent, and lost its autonomy in education, health and even security.
The Sarawak Independence Day public holiday which falls on July 22 was officially gazetted by the government of Sarawak in 2016 to raise awareness about Sarawak’s past and contributions of its past leaders.
“This is the 57th independence anniversary of Sarawak and in all these years, we have been together through rain and shine like a big family. This is a day we should cherish and hold pride in for our fair land Sarawak. This is a day for us to hold our heads high and be counted as Sarawakians first. We are in a unique state with rich resources; something we should be thankful for.
“Sarawak is host to the highest variety of ethnic races and yet we show the world how close knit we all are. We are able to live, work and make merry together, joining in the many different festivals,” Lo added.
Although Sarawak only got to celebrate Sarawak Independence Day when it was officially gazetted in 2016, Lo pointed out that nevertheless, it is better to be late than never to be able to celebrate this important occasion and be proud of this day.
“We must ask ourselves why we are able to commemorate such an occasion. This is due to us having a stable government that promotes peace and harmony. Fifty-seven years is a long time and we have come a long way with big transformations in all parts of Sarawak.
“We sincerely believe that the new federal government will keep its word and return to us what is due to us. We can do much better and enjoy better infrastructure for the whole of Sarawak if the federal government makes good the deal to return what belongs to us,” Lo added. — DayakDaily