‘Our rights have been interfered with without our knowledge or approval long ago’

Roland and Lo (standing in the middle of the crowd) give their thumbs-up as they pose for a photo with GPS members and supporters.

SIBURAN, Jan 17: Sarawak’s rights have been eroded and interfered with without its consent during Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s first tenure as the prime minister.

Assistant Minister of Native Land Development Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn pointed out that there were still many obvious issues worth pondering about Sarawak’s fight to restore and reinstate its rights.

“The people must understand that Sarawakian leaders were not informed of the changes to the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) and the Territorial Sea Act 2012 (TSA), for instance, as they (amendments of the laws) were not passed in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN),” he said in explaining that DUN must endorse for any act to have effect.

“Our rights have been disturbed, and, furthermore, without our knowledge or approval a long time ago. So, wasn’t this the work of Dr Mahathir?” he told those present at the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Flag Rally programme at Siburan Hall here today.

For this reason, he added, the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem, who realised this, went head on to reclaim those rights.

Roland, who is also Tarat assemblyman, thus urged the people not to blame Sarawak leaders of that period, worse still for the younger leaders who knew nothing about this yet.

“We have learned from our mistakes, and that is why Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, upon careful consideration, made the decision to establish GPS to continue Adenan’s mission in fighting for greater autonomy for Sarawak,” he emphasised.

Adenan’s son Azizul was also present at the rally gathering to support GPS in its struggle with the main objective to achieve his late father’s aspirations to build a better future for Sarawak.

“Azizul is part of the GPS team not only because of his father but because he trusts GPS can fight for Sarawak and Sarawakians,” he added.

On GPS being criticised by the opposition as ‘old wine in a new bottle’, Roland took that as an acknowledgement of GPS being wise and having the quality to lead Sarawak.

“It means GPS is a good wine, the older the better, with all the experiences and knowledge in the political scene.
“But isn’t it funny when Dr Mahathir, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PKR president) and Lim Guan Eng (Finance Minister) are coined the ‘new blood’ when they have been in politics for so long. I doubt so,” he concluded.

Roland (right) presents a souvenir to Gerald as other GPS members and leaders watch on stage.

Meanwhile, Batu Kitang assemblyman Lo Khere Chiang said Sarawak would never allow racists to disrupt its unity to ensure a peaceful and harmonious society and way of life in Sarawak.

“This is why it is so important for us to strengthen our unity and work together through GPS, which has multiracial leaders to safeguard Sarawak, especially our resources.

“Pakatan Harapan (PH) is only interested in our resources, especially oil and gas, and what have we got in return all this while?” he asked.

Highlighting the many projects cancelled and stalled, fundings cut and cost of living increasing faster than paychecks, Lo questioned if this was the kind of leadership they would want to continue supporting.

“So, we need to support GPS under Abang Johari, who will continue the fight to protect Sarawak and pursue our rights because this is very important for the future of Sarawak and its people as well as the future generation,” said Lo.

Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Youth chief Gerald Rentap Jabu is leading the GPS Flag Rally convoy on a nine-day road trip to introduce GPS’ new hornbill logo and song across the state. Siburan is the 16th stop on day seven of their journey.

The convoy will proceed to Bau, Lundu and Batu Kawah today and tomorrow, they will visit Sadong Jaya and Kota Samarahan.

The entire event will wrap up with the official launching of GPS by Abang Johari on Jan 19 at Stadium Perpaduan in Petra Jaya. — DayakDaily