S4S’ demands “unreasonable, dangerous”, says Abdul Karim

Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah
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KUCHING, August 20: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice-president Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah has blasted Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S) for issuing a six-month ultimatum to the state government to reclaim full autonomy from Putrajaya under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

The ultimatum formed part of a 10-point recommendation that S4S had forwarded last Saturday (Aug 18) to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing, Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian and Abdul Karim.

S4S had also emailed the same so-called manifesto to all the members of the State Legislative Assembly

Abdul Karim, who is also the Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports said such a demand was “unreasonable and dangerous” to national unity.

“Who is S4S to give an ultimatum to the state government? Such a strong worded demand from an unregistered group of activists that do not seem to understand what they are talking about,” Abdul Karim told DayakDaliy today.

He explained that Sarawak had already exercised its autonomy and it was now negotiating on its rights which had been eroded over the years.

“This is true, especially in the oil and gas issue. We also want it to be increased from the present 5 per cent but we cannot be confrontational with the federal government. It must be done in a family ambience, otherwise we will jeopardise the existing national unity,” he said.

He pointed out that Sarawak had already been exercising its autonomy on immigration, land, rivers and forests unlike other states in the country.

“And in Sarawak, our government is also different as we have our own cabinet ministers, unlike in other states (except Sabah) where they only have executive councillors,” he stressed.

Tan Sri James Jemut Masing

Masing, who is also Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president, agreed that the Sarawak government should get better deals from the federal government for its oil and gas royalty.

“For the oil and gas royalty, we deserve much better deals. But as the chief minister has said, we are letting the professionals, especially Petros (Petroleum Sarawak Berhad), to negotiate for us,” he said.

However, Abdul Karim and Masing said they had not received the so-called 10-point recommendations from S4S. The civil movement had claimed to have personally sent it to them last Saturday.

S4S spokesman Tan Kok Chiang had told the media last Saturday that if the state government failed to demand for full autonomy, S4S would call for Sarawak to exit the Federation of Malaysia.

He said S4S would also consider taking part in the state election if the Sarawak government failed to take the necessary steps to pave way for full autonomy in the next three years.

“Failure for the Sarawak government to do that, we will take part in the election, where we believe most Sarawakians will agree with our demands,” said Tan in a press conference at a local hotel here.

During the press conference, S4S also unveiled its Manifesto 2018 titled “Sarawak exploring interest towards tomorrow”, where the civil movement made 10-recommendations to the Sarawak government to pave the way for full autonomy.

Among the recommendations are for the Sarawak Legislative Assembly to establish a Sarawak Sovereign Wealth Fund and that the Sarawak government execute its judiciary powers of the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 by shutting down the operations of any company that failed to comply with it by Dec 31, 2018. — DayakDaily