Nanta refutes claim he said “growing regionalism is worrisome”

Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi

KUCHING, Sept 15: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) secretary-general Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi clarifies that he has never uttered “growing regionalism is worrisome” or any statement to that effect.

He denied categorically that he ever said so, in reference to DayakDaily’s article “Peter John: Dr M doesn’t have right to teach Borneo States how to feel, behave” published on Sept 12, 2021 where he questioned if he has been misquoted by DayakDaily or by the originator of the statement, Sarawak activist Peter John Jaban.

“I wonder how is it that he (Peter John) is reported to say that he ‘disagreed’ with me when I was purported say ‘growing regionalism is worrisome’.

“Just when and where did I ever say ‘growing regionalism is worrisome’? My comment on Tun Dr Mahathir was only made to Malaysiakini and I never say anything about growing regionalism is worrisome.

“I think this is a case of putting words into my mouth. I hope DayakDaily did not insinuate that I said such a thing. And I hope Peter John did not simply assume that I meant it that way. If he did then he is irresponsible, just simply shooting from the hip,” Nanta told DayakDaily.

Dayakdaily had received a statement from Peter John on Sunday (Sept 12) which DayakDaily subsequently processed into a news report titled “Peter John: Dr M doesn’t have right to teach Borneo States how to feel, behave”.

With regards to the part which Nanta, who is also the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, claimed to have been misquoted, the excerpt of Peter John’s statement is as follows:

“Sarawak politician Alexander Nanta Linggi then struck back, arguing that Dr Mahathir himself was ‘responsible for the rise of the ‘Sarawakians for Sarawak’ sentiment in the state’ by ‘shortchanging Sarawak’, which gave rise to regionalism.

“But his statement also suggests that regionalism is something to worry about. I would contend the opposite. I would contend that regionalism is the best future for our nation.”

In view of Nanta’s protest, Dayakdaily compared the Malaysiakini news report titled “GPS blames Mahathir for rise of regionalism in Sarawak” and concludes that Nanta neither expressed worry over the rise of regionalism nor did he insinuate he was worried over such a sentiment arising in Sarawak.

Dayakdaily apologises for the oversight and will amend the article concerned.

Meanwhile, Peter Jaban when contacted also expressed regrets for reading too much into Nanta’s statement in Malaysiakini. — DayakDaily