Politics the only divisive element in Sarawak, says activist

KUCHING, July 22: Solidarity Anak Sarawak (SAS) founder Peter John Jaban says Sarawakians are united in every aspect, except politics.

“In politics, it remains to divide and conquer. In politics, we are always trying to pull each other down,” he lamented in a statement today.

Peter John said Sarawak Day was a day for all Sarawakians to reflect on their shared interests, to remember the unique history and cultures that made the state what it is, and to focus on the common goal of reclaiming the state’s rights as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

“This should be something that all Sarawakians agree on. Yet, we don’t. We are always described as a harmonious and unified state. Indeed we are in every respect, except our politics.”

He said he himself had been attacked by many quarters over the years and even accused of receiving payoffs to the tune of millions of ringgit.

“A public relations company hired by our former Chief Minister and current governor (Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud) has admitted to being paid to spread fake rumours about me, and yet I have to endure accusations of being on his payroll.

“Beyond that, various figures looking to make a name for themselves in politics have taken to social media to attack me and S4S (Sarawak for Sarawakians), questioning its motives and its affiliations,” he claimed.

Peter John said S4S is actually a very simple platform for Sarawakians to come together for a common cause — the restitution of Sarawak’s rights under MA63.

“As Sarawakians, we must forget the petty squabbles over percentages and profit shares. We must forget the fights over whether local based parties are better than national ones.”

“MA63 exists and cannot be ignored. It is not a matter of political opinion. It is a promise made to all Malaysians about how their country should be formed and how it could be successful,” he said.

He emphasised that the MA63 was something all Sarawakians must agree on.

“Our forefathers negotiated it on behalf of future generations of Sarawakians. We are that future generation, and we have a responsibility to reclaim those rights. No matter what our party, our race, our religion, MA63 is there for all of us.

“So let’s stop fighting among ourselves and start fighting for our rights. Oil revenues, education, healthcare, development, employment – this is not for the promotion of one party.”

Peter John pointed out that Sarawak is not an opposition state.

“We are a founding part of this Federation of Malaysia, and we deserve better. Our struggle is not with each other. It is for the betterment of our state and the betterment of our nation. We must all share in that.” — DayakDaily