Lo to Chong: Sarawakians want independence

Lo Khere Chiang

KUCHING, Aug 1:  Batu Kitang Assemblyman Lo Khere Chiang says Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) chief Chong Chieng Jen should know that Sarawakians want independence.

“The late Tok Nan (former Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem) may have thought about this but he also knew that it had to be a peaceful and timely process.

“Maybe instead of calling for a change to further alienate us from our possible journey towards independence, Chong should go and do a survey to find out the truth of what Sarawakians on the ground want and take the results of the survey to his bosses in Malaya. 

“Instead of fighting for Sarawak, he is going the opposite way, explaining for his Malayan masters. Is that (Sarawak Independence Day) not a stark reminder to us all that July 22, 1963 is of utmost importance to us? On that day, Sarawak was not any less independent than say, an ‘independent’ country like Australia today?” said Lo in a statement.

Lo was commenting on Chong’s statement calling on Sarawak government to do correction on the gazette notification from declaring July 22 as Sarawak Independence Day (an effort of Tok Nan) to Sarawak Day.

He said Australia is a federation, a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy. This means that Australia has a Queen, who resides in the United Kingdom and is represented in Australia by a Governor-General.  Likewise is Malaysia.

“The one big difference is that neither Great Britain nor Canberra is taking 95 per cent of say, Victoria’s coal or South Australia’s uranium and only returning five per cent to that state. 

“So yes, we want independence. We want the independence Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the other Commonwealth nations or colonies have or used to have as in Hong Kong’s and Sarawak’s case,” said Lo.

Lo who is also Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman said instead of trying to undo the late Tok Nan’s legacy, Chong could do better by talking to his colleagues in the Education Ministry to write the correct factual history of Malaysia so that the young can be educated with the following facts:

On July 22, 1963, the last British colonial governor, Alexander Waddell left the Astana and boarded a white sampan to cross the Sarawak River to hand over the administration of Sarawak to her own people. 

The colonial flag was lowered and the Sarawak flag was raised where the Sarawak government under Sarawak’s first Chief Minister, Stephen Kalong Ningkang was formed on July 22, 1963.

Sarawak was self-governed for a short period of time before entering into the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) on September 16 that year, which formed the Federation of Malaysia with Sabah, Malaya and Singapore.

Under the MA63 agreement, Sarawak had insisted on certain terms and conditions, which gave the state autonomous rights to several aspects of the constitution.

“These facts should not just be sitting in our archives gathering dust. They should be in our children’s history books.

“I have a strong feeling that Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, Chong Chieng Jen has forgotten his roots as a Sarawakian. 

“Where is Chong’s passion for Sarawak now, after becoming a deputy minister? Does he know what Sarawakians want?  Doesn’t he know that there is a huge majority of Sarawakians who wants Sarawak’s Independence?” Lo asked. — DayakDaily