PBK, NGOs allege S’wak, Sabah’s desire for independence amidst racial, religious tensions

File photo for illustration purposes only. Photo: Pixabay

By DayakDaily Team

KUCHING, April 15: Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) and two non-governmental organisations (NGOs), Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (BoPiMaFo) and Gindol Initiative for Civil Society Borneo, have claimed that Sarawakians and Sabahans were uneasy when blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin stated that there will be better peace in Malaysia if the people of Malaysia, including Sarawak and Sabah, accept Islam as a higher status and accept Malaysia as not a secular state.

In a joint press statement issued today, PBK president Voon Lee Shan, BoPiMaFo president Daniel John Jambun, and Gindol Initiative for Civil Society Borneo chairman Kanul Gindol, alleged that Sarawakians and Sabahans are also not happy that Malaysia is called ‘Tanah Melayu’ because before Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah were countries and independent from Malaya, having the same legal status with Malaya, although Sarawak and Sabah were still colonies of the United Kingdom.

“There are growing sentiments among Sarawakians and Sabahans that they would be happier if Sarawak and Sabah were free and independent from Malaysia,” the statement said.

It went on to say that PBK is pursuing the people of Sarawak’s dream of achieving independence from Malaysia through peaceful and legal means.

“Singapore exited the Federation of Malaya in 1965, and Sarawak and Sabah also can do it,” Voon asserted.

According to the statement, on April 10, Raja Petra Kamarudin stated that the rising racial and religious tensions in the country can only be subdued or put to an end if every non-Malay/non-Muslim citizen accepts that ‘Malaysia is originally Tanah Melayu, Islam is accorded a high status, and it is not a secular state’.

“This is definitely not correct. Assessments have been made that Sarawakians and Sabahans prefer no official religion in Sarawak and Sabah.

“It was not the intention of our people to have an official religion before Malaysia was formed. Islam was made the official religion because the Malaya Constitution was adopted or turned into the Malaysian Constitution after Singapore, Sarawak, and Sabah were acquired to enlarge Malaya on September 16, 1963 to take a new name, Malaysia.

“Malaysia is not a new nation, although Singapore, Sarawak, and Sabah were said to have helped form Malaysia.”

Furthermore, the statement claimed that Malaysia was never formed at all, but rather an expansion of Malaya under the new name Malaysia, according to United Nations Secretariat records.

“The taking of a new name by Malaya was officially made known to the United Nations by Dato Ong Yoke Lin, the Representative of Malaya to the United Nations,” it said. — DayakDaily