NGO in favour of Sarawak hosting national-level Malaysia Day celebration

Datuk John Lau Pang Heng

KUCHING,June 9: Sarawak Patriots Association (SPA) welcomes the news that Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak is asking the Federal Government to host the Malaysia Day 2019 in Kuching.

Its president Datuk John Lau said that SPA supported the idea that there is a possibility for Kuching to host the Malaysia Day 2019 as it will help to boost tourism in Sarawak.

“SPA prays that PH Sarawak will be able to bring lots of people from Peninsular Malaysia to come to Kuching to celebrate the 56th Malaysia Day in Kuching,” said Lau in a statement.

He agreed that since Malaysia was formed with Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak in partnership, the three partners need to take turns to host the Malaysia Day national celebration.

“We appreciate the government’s early announcement that Kuching shall host 2019 Malaysia Day. In 2018, Malaysia Day was held in Kota Kinabalu; it is fair and justified that Kuching, Sarawak shall host the 2019 celebrations.”

He said that although Malaysia was formed on September 16, 1963, many from outside Sarawak don’t know the Land of the Hornbill, particularly those from the peninsula.

“If it is true that Malaysia Day 2019 will be held in Kuching, SPA prays that the Prime Minister will have good news for Sarawak.”

Lau stressed on PH’s GE14 manifesto promise No. 40 to implement the 1963 Malaysia Agreement and among them are:-

1. The status of Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) based on current legislation;

2. Efforts to enhance the understanding of the people on MA63 through the national education system. The people of Sarawak would like to hear the Federal Government’s plans on including MA63 in the school curriculum;

3. The rights of Sabah and Sarawak to revenue from their natural resources such as oil and gas. In PH GE14 manifesto promise nNo. 41, it was mentioned that the government will increase petroleum royalty to Sabah and Sarawak to 20 per cent of equivalent. It further highlighted that with the allocation Sabah and Sarawak can take over responsibilities for more development expenditure. cmonths has lapsed and Sarawakians are still waiting for this announcement;

4. The allocation of share of funds that rightfully belong to Sabah and Sarawak. There was 13 months for the federal government to implement this since May 9, 2018.

Lau said that SPA looked forward to hearing the good news that decentralization of power to Sabah and Sarawak will be announced on September 16, 2019.

“This relates to cabotage policy, open sky policy, transportation system, education and health matters, forming committees after committees to study and deliberate on their promises.”

He said that SPA’s view is that the people are patient enough to wait for the outcome of the various committee reports.

“But patience has some limit and it will become very stressful when the waiting game continues,” he lamented.

“Most important of all, we hope to have confirmation from the Federal Government that there is no non-Sarawaklans standing as a candidate in the 2021 Sarawak General Election,” he said. — DayakDaily