PBK president: Chinese community unhappy with many issues

Voon Lee Shan

KUCHING, July 21: Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) believed that the Chinese community in Sarawak was unhappy about a lot of issues to throw their support behind Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) in the coming state election.

PBK president Voon Lee Shan claimed that the fight for autonomy was not what Sarawakians wanted anymore but the freedom and independence from the domination, suppression, and imperialism of Peninsular Malaysia.

“During the BN (Barisan Nasional) era, GPS (then BN Sarawak) had not done justice to Sarawak in the past five decades which caused Sarawak to lose its oil and gas resources, marine wealth, territorial waters and territory to the Peninsula.

“Sarawak has not even a drop of crude oil now because under Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA 1974), all oil and gas resources are vested with Petronas,” he alleged in a statement today.

Voon was responding to Sarawak Federation of Chinese Associations president Datuk Richard Wee who predicted that more urban and Chinese voters in the state would support GPS in the upcoming state election.

He reiterated that the state lost about 850,000 barrels of crude oil every day to Petronas which was estimated to be about RM285 million.

“Sarawak in past decades lost lots of revenues collected by the federal government in Sarawak. This had made the Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO) redundant or toothless against Malaya.

“The imposition of State Sales Tax (SST) on Petronas does not mean that Sarawak has legal right to oil and gas resources in Sarawak anymore, of which the Chinese community is aware of,” he said, adding that SST is also imposed on other goods such as crude palm oil, crude palm kernel oil, tires, and vehicles.

He shared that PBK had received a lot of feedback from the Chinese community who felt that Wee’s views did not take into account their sensitivity, especially concerning the failure of the state government in protecting matters related to language, education, religion, natural resources, and economy.

The latest issues he said that were deeply felt by the Chinese community were the recognition of the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) and Friday being declared Jawi Day.

“The Chinese community is not happy with the GPS government because of its inability to influence the federal government to recognise UEC and is silent on the imposition of Friday as Jawi Day.

“They also questioned Wee’s inability to influence the federal government on both matters,” he claimed.

Meanwhile, Wee was reported in a local daily saying that he believed that the Chinese voters were likely to support GPS in the coming election due to GPS’ endeavour and commitment in fighting for Sarawak’s autonomy.

“The coalition under Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg would continue to defend the state’s rights,” he said.

Wee added that the state government under GPS in getting Petronas to pay the SST and recognise the OMO were both major achievements, as the Chinese community was more concerned about whether enough had been done to defend the rights and interests of the state.

“They all see that the Sarawak government has made its position very clear. However it takes time for the process to be carried out.

“I can see the sincerity of the Sarawak government in dealing with all these; they are resolute and determined about it. Of course the process cannot happen overnight but I would say that we are headed in the right direction,” he said.

Wee also expressed satisfaction with the achievements of the state government and hoped to see more such accomplishments.

“Recently, the chief minister said it was high time for Sarawak to have one-third representation in Parliament. This is something the chief minister is doing in a gradual manner, in his own way,” he said.—DayakDaily