KUCHING, Nov 28: The Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S) movement has given the Sarawak government an ‘unsatisfactory’ overall performance evaluation in fulfilling the 10 recommendations laid out in its Sarawak’s Manifesto 2018, as the six months deadline from Aug 18 when the manifesto was submitted draws near.
Its spokesperson, Tan Kok Chiang, emphasised that three months had passed, but the state government had only achieved one out of the 10 recommendations presented, which is to reveal the findings from the state legal team’s visit to London pertaining to Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“We are dissatisfied with the progress because we have yet to see any concrete actions or specific measures implemented on the remaining nine recommendations yet,” he said in a press statement today.
On building Sarawak’s very own banking sector, Tan urged the government to persuade Bank Negara to issue three new banking licences for the private sector in Sarawak in order to assist and nurture the local private sector.
“In fact, Sarawak has the right as per MA63 to set up its own banking infrastructure that would definitely benefit the people and prevent being taken advantage of by the Malayan people,” he said.
While the group (S4S) welcomed the one-off RM1,000 incentive for every newborn Sarawakian starting next year, he, however, stressed the need to set up a sovereign fund that would pay out RM4,800 to every Sarawakian, regardless of age and gender, annually.
“With the fund, it will allow all Sarawakians to benefit from the rich resources of Sarawak,” he argued.
“Moreover, during the July DUN (State Legislative Assembly) sitting, (Piasau assemblyman) Datuk Sebastian Ting had also recommended the setting up of a similar fund. So, we want to remind him to table a motion in the next sitting,” he reminded.
On the call for reducing electricity tariffs, especially considering the state government now owned Bakun Dam, Tan was disappointed that the people had yet to benefit the slightest from that resource.
“So, what is the point for Sarawakians to support the Sarawak government in buying back Bakun Dam?” he questioned.
As for the oil and gas sector, he urged Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to be bold enough to implement the Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO) 1958 without further delay or else Sarawak would continue to suffer losses of more than RM120 billion with each passing day.
“We were excited when we heard that the Sarawak government will begin to control all oil and gas activities in and around Sarawak from July 1, but now it has been extended to Dec 31, 2019, without giving reasons. The chief minister needs to go hard with his decision without delay. Under MA63, Sarawak owns 100 per cent of the state’s oil revenue,” he said.
Noting that Sarawak only received a small cut from federal funding for next year, Tan questioned the meaning to stay in the Federation of Malaysia when Sarawak has not been treated fairly according to the MA63.
On education, Tan reiterated the need for more provisions of student loans and scholarships from the state government instead of limiting it to Yayasan Sarawak.
Other recommendations include improving healthcare services, including offering free medication and raising the number of medical specialists, strengthening the defence sector to safeguard Sarawak, and implementing a passport entry system at immigration checkpoints to prevent entry of illegal immigrants using fake identification cards.
On the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), Tan was disappointed with the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government for putting Malaysia’s ratification of ICERD on hold.
“The PH government that claimed to uphold justice and democracy openly opposed ICERD, which is a United Nations convention. The move is a great disappointment that shows the minority in this country will be deprived and neglected. So, it is still worthy to support PH?” he questioned. — DayakDaily