PBK questions SUPP’s seriousness in fight for Sarawak independence

Voon Lee Shan

KUCHING, Nov 14: PBK president Voon Lee Shan urges SUPP to be serious in fighting for Sarawak independence.

According to Voon, SUPP is a component party of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and GPS has many times made it clear that they are only seeking autonomy or autonomous rights over certain matters, and not independence from the federation of Malaysia.

He opined that GPS seeking autonomy shows it did not wish for Sarawak to leave Malaysia, and therefore, Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) is a “sandwich party”, sandwiched between choosing to fight for autonomy on behalf of GPS and to support the move for independence as spearheaded by PBK.

The Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president also claimed that the call by SUPP outside and inside the Sarawak Legislative Assembly to urge the federal government to allow Sarawak to hold a referendum for Sarawakians to choose whether to stay in or to leave Malaysia is a strategy by SUPP to divert the public’s attention from the stand taken by GPS to stay in the federation of Malaysia.

“The stand to seek independence by SUPP being not endorsed by the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, who is the head of GPS, is not binding on GPS but rhetoric to capture votes to win the coming Sarawak elections,” according to Voon in a press statement today.

Voon said that there has been no declaration by SUPP that they disagreed with fighting for autonomy and instead is fighting for Sarawak’s independence.

“Therefore, the public should be informed PBK cannot work with SUPP on this issue,” he emphasised.

Voon also claimed public opinion is that GPS is under pressure and has to rely on SUPP to counter the independence issue as put forward by PBK.

“The public is advised that seeking autonomy on Sarawak rights from the federation of Malaysia is different from seeking independence.

“Even if full autonomy over a matter is allowed, this does not mean Sarawak could be free from political, social, economic, cultural and religious domination by Malaya,” he opined.

He also claimed that legally and politically, nothing could prevent the federal government from asserting rights that had been given away.

“The public has to be informed that if SUPP is serious or wants Sarawak to be free and independent, SUPP should have moved a Motion in the Sarawak Parliament, seeking support from members of the Sarawak Parliament, to get the federal government to pass a Referendum Act to allow Sarawakians to determine the fate of Sarawak, but, this had not been done at all.

“If a Motion is tabled, this will give the public to know who among the assemblymen in the legislature who are for or against independence,” said Voon.

SUPP, he added, is trying to put itself in the limelight by indicating that independence could only be achieved by way of a referendum and this could be misleading.

He claimed there is no legal provision under Malaysian law or under the Malaysian Constitution to say that a referendum is necessary to determine whether or how to exit from Malaysia.

Voon also questioned why should SUPP bother with gaining freedom and independence by way of a referendum, when there is no need for referendum for exit.

He opined that even if the federal government may consider a referendum law to be passed, this can take many years to have the law passed and perhaps, the people of Sarawak will wait for 20-30 years for this referendum law to become a reality.

“Perhaps we may only get the referendum law passed after all oil and gas resources have dried up and our prime land been taken by those who are in power. Even passed, there will be no guarantee a referendum will be held.

“Sarawakians may need to know that international law also never say in a situation Sarawak is in, a referendum is a necessary legal requirement for a suppressed Sarawak with economic and political differences with the federation of Malaya, who wants to be free and independent, to hold a referendum.”

Voon also asserted that PBK in its quest of independence, would focus on a unilateral declaration of independence and seek independence through domestic and international courts, while not losing sight of a referendum as a strategy to gain freedom and independence for Sarawak. — DayakDaily