Only a Sarawak-based nationalist party can solve NCR land disputes — ex-rep

Voon Lee Shan

KUCHING, Jan 30: Former Batu Lintang assemblyman Voon Lee Shan is of the view that native customary rights (NCR) land disputes can only be resolved through a Sarawak-based nationalist party seeking or negotiating for Sarawak’s independence.

The problem would not be solved if Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) continued to administer the state.

“If Sarawak could be independent, the judges would all be Sarawakians, and surely, they would know better than Malayan judges what is known as ‘pemakai menoa’ and ‘pulau galau’, etc in NCR,” he said in a statement today.

Voon, who is a practising lawyer, opined that GPS and Pakatan Harapan (PH) should not be the choice of Sarawakians.

He said GPS is merely a rebranding of the Sarawak Barisan Nasional after the collapse of the BN government in the 14th general election last year.

“After taking a new name, GPS is now shouting loudly to tell Sarawakians that only GPS can protect Sarawak and take back Sarawak’s rights under MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963).

“Recently, the (de facto) Sarawak Law Minister (Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali) made a press statement that negotiations with Putrajaya were not fruitful.

“How can Sarawakians now throw their chips behind GPS when it could not make any headway in taking back Sarawak’s lost rights?”

He reiterated that Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN) is, in actual fact, GPS, and GPS is Sarawak BN.

“There is no difference, and even if there is, most things are the same. Sarawakians need to understand, ironically, it was Sarawak BN’s weaknesses that Sarawak lost many of its rights and resources, including its oil and gas revenue, to Putrajaya.”

Voon believed that GPS would again, like in the old BN days, be putting their stakes to capture rural votes, in which the Dayaks are the majority.

“Why should the Dayak rally behind GPS when GPS, as Sarawak BN, were the government that had alienated lands to cronies and to some GPS’ YBs or their families that were said to have encroached into their NCR land?

“Why should rural people other than the Dayak support GPS when until now we have the Pain Borneo Highway instead of a scenic Pan Borneo Highway?”

He said since 1963, this Sarawak Alliance, which is now GPS, was able to sell their wares well by telling Sarawakians to vote for them in order to keep Umno out of Sarawak.

“The voters had been hoodwinked by not realising that a vote for Sarawak Alliance and later a vote for Sarawak BN is a vote to allow Umno to stay in power.

“Now Umno has a ‘brother’ called “Pribumi’ (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia) under Tun Dr Mahathir (Mohamad). Pribumi is small but is a ‘big brother’ because it could, through Dr Mahathir, control DAP and PKR. A vote for PH should be viewed as a vote for Umno, too.

”Therefore, should Sarawakians vote for PH? Either way, a vote for GPS should be construed as a vote for BN /Umno and a vote for PH is a vote for Umno, too.

“This is because policies under PH under the leadership of Dr Mahathir have not changed much since the time Dr Mahathir was in Umno.” — DayakDaily