Nation building: Putrajaya must show it means business, says Masing

Tan Sri Dr James Masing

KUCHING, Oct 1: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing opined that nation-building would not succeed when there is a lack of fairness and equality, with one party lording over other stakeholders when the initial agreement states otherwise.

In the case of Malaysia, the federal government would have to do its part first before making demands on Sarawak and Sabah, who have been the stakeholders on the losing end for the last 50 years.

“Nation building cannot succeed if there are elements of unfairness, discriminatory practices and the taking of other people’s assets unjustly.

“When YB Hannah Yeoh (Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister) came over, she did not address that issue that bothers Sarawakians and Sabahans. Instead, she continued to ask Sarawakians and Sabahans to give in, again, for the sake of nation building. That has been why Sarawakians became upset and criticised her.

“The federal government cannot lord over Sarawak and Sabah and continue to ask us to let them do so when the initial agreement, which states the opposite, is not honoured,” said Masing, in a statement today.

He cautioned that if the federal government continued to adopt this kind of condescending attitude towards Sarawakians and Sabahans, it would not help improve relations between Peninsular Malaysia and the other two territories — Sarawak and Sabah.

“If YB Hannah Yeoh does not know enough of Malaysia’s history, don’t preach to us,” Masing commented.

He added that until and unless the federal government honour the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) constitutionally by getting rid of some of the laws that had been passed and also honour ‘Borneonisation’, whatever promises made would only be seen as paying lip service.

“And before that happens, Sarawak will continuously advocate for its own rights as enshrined under MA63,” said Masing, who is also Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president.

Masing was responding to Yeoh’s statement today, which said that Malaysians had long been divided by race and religion and now region, following sentiments such as Sarawak for Sarawakians. She also said the federal government intended to recognise Sarawak and Sabah’s rightful position in Malaysia under MA63.

Yeoh was condemned by Sarawakians for calling on them to do away with the Sarawak for Sarawakians sentiment when giving a talk at the forum ‘What is our role in Malaysia Baru?’ that was organised by Malaysia for Change, Sarawak on Saturday (Sept 29) here. — DayakDaily