PBK president defends constitution amendment as necessary to protect Sarawak’s rights

Voon Lee Shan

KUCHING, Nov 19: PBK opines GPS needed to pass a law in the Sarawak Legislature to forbid Peninsular-based parties from contesting in any Sarawak elections so as to adequately protect Sarawak’s rights.

Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan pointed out that Sarawak’s rights could be easily taken away if political parties from Peninsular Malaysia took over the Sarawak government.

“Political parties from Malaya may wish to take away the protection of Sarawak’s rights passed by the GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) government to Article 16 of the Sarawak Constitution recently.

“If Article 16 is revoked, a day will come for Sarawak to see Malayans (West Malaysians) and Sabahans occupying Sarawak DUN (Sarawak Legislative Assembly),” he asserted in a statement today.

Voon was commenting about the amendment to Article 16 of the Sarawak Constitution, which was passed in the DUN recently, with an intention to protect Sarawak’s rights concerning the eligibility of persons to stand in elections and be elected as members of the DUN.

“This is a welcome move although there are legal loopholes as argued by many, but, time will tell whether this protection could sustain,” he added.

He asserted that at present, not just Sarawakians who were in peninsula-based parties but also West Malaysians and Sabahans may also under Article 47 of the Federal Constitution contest for parliamentary seats in Sarawak.

Voon opined that Parliament could amend the Federal Constitution and pass laws to take away all the rights of Sarawak, including the rights protected under Article 16 of the Sarawak Constitution.

“In the recent DUN Sitting, Democratic Action Party (DAP) alleged that for the past 55 years, GPS or the former BN (Barisan Nasional) government was unable to adequately protect Sarawak’s rights.

“Such criticisms by YB David Wong (Pelawan assemblyman) of DAP against BN/GPS is not unfounded and BN/GPS should now take a serious look at the criticisms to ensure Sarawak’s rights be protected,” he said.

Voon thus felt that it is time for GPS to convince the Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal government to amend the Federal Constitution and all relevant laws to ensure all peninsula-based parties to “close shop” in Sarawak.

“If the PN federal government disagrees, then, it could be a legitimate excuse for the GPS government to seek exit from the federation of Malaysia.

“If the GPS government refuses to make a move, then, it is time for Sarawakians to remove them from further governing Sarawak because Sarawakians should view this as a failure to protect Sarawak’s rights,” he said.

Politics in Sarawak, he stressed, need no intervention from political parties and people from Peninsular Malaysia.

“We do not welcome Malayan cultures into Sarawak’s political scene because political cultures from Malaya are not suitable for Sarawak.

“What are their motives to interfere with Sarawak affairs and politics? If Malayan political parties could control DUN, many of Sarawak’s natural resources will be mined by people from Malaya, leaving the crumbs to Sarawak people.

“I don’t think it was the intention of our forefathers to allow Malayan political parties to set foot in Sarawak. Definitely, it could not be the intention of our forefathers to see Malayans control our DUN and Sarawak government,” he added.

Voon thus urged Sarawakians to oust Peninsula-based political parties from Sarawak soil. — DayakDaily