KUCHING, Sept 19: Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S) today chided former Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz for setting the condition that Sarawak and Sabah must give up their immigration autonomy before they can be accorded equal status.
S4S spokesperson Tan Kok Chiang opined that this was an attempt by Putrajaya to further strip away the rights of Sarawak and Sabah.
“The rights of Sarawak and Sabah have eroded over the years, and there is already not much left. All that we have is the immigration autonomy.
“And yet, these politicians, whether in Barisan Nasional (BN) or Pakatan Harapan (PH), are still trying hard to try to take away of what is left of our autonomy instead of honouring the MA63 (Malaysian Agreement 1963),” Tan told a press conference at a local coffee shop here today.
He said irrespective of whether Nazri’s statement was a coincidence or unintentional, it showed that the federal government, regardless of who is in power, would make the same move, which is to find excuses not to return the rights of Sarawak and Sabah while at the same time make every attempt to further erode the rights of the two states.
“What is most disappointing is that when the issues crop up, Sarawak PH leaders do not defend Sarawak but stand aside silently and let their federal counterpart carry on with what they are doing.
“Before May 9 (14th general election), Sarawakians voted for PH with the hope that they would return Sarawak’s rights and resources as promised. Yet, they (Sarawak PH leaders) do nothing for Sarawak,” lamented Tan.
He noted that ever since PH took over Putrajaya, Sarawak PH leaders showed they had no say in making decisions concerning issues such as oil and gas royalties, education and MA63.
Tan said Sarawakians were now left with no political choice. On one hand, Sarawakians did not have much faith with the ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) while on the other, they have lost confidence in Sarawak PH, which is allegedly under the control of Putrajaya.
“We are worried that if we support Sarawak PH, we will end up like Sabah, where Sarawak may lose its only remaining right of immigration autonomy,” said Tan.
He pointed out that whether its BN or PH, their only intention is to “colonise” Sarawak for the latter’s rich resources. — DayakDaily