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KUCHING, Sept 30: Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S) defended its members for not standing up during the national anthem at a recent fundraising dinner for a local political party, saying they were observing a silent protest.
S4S spokesperson Alex Leong, who was among those who did not stand up at the function and also had uploaded a video of the act on his own Facebook account, said the reason why they conducted the silent protest was to show their disappointment towards the federal government for not being able to keep its promises after the 14th general elections.
On top of that, the federal government did not even honour the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) during the recent Constitutional Amendment Bill, he added.
“We were doing a silent protest because we felt disappointed and upset with Malaysia’s federal government, because the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad recently said 20 per cent oil royalty to Sarawak not workable.
“Now we are in the 56th year (of Sarawak in Malaysia), we have already given Malaya almost RM600 billion of our oil and gas revenue — every year 95 per cent.
“We were also disappointed and upset because when they (federal government) did the Constitutional Amendment, they only amended Article 160, which did not include the MA63. Meaning they did not recognise Sarawak and MA63,” Leong told reporters at the Kuching District Police Station here this afternoon.
Earlier, Leong and seven other S4S members were called to the Kuching District Police Headquarters to give statements after a report was lodged against them for not standing to attention when ‘Negaraku’ was played at the earlier mentioned dinner.
Leong had uploaded the video of S4S members sitting down while the national anthem was being played on his Facebook page with an explanation. The video went viral overnight and drew flak from several people on the social media platform.
Leong said the police only recorded their statement and the case would be investigated.
“So far that was all they did,” he added.
Asked if he and other S4S members would commit the offence again, he said that was just the beginning, and if the federal government continues to disappoint Sarawakians, hundreds and maybe thousands more would join the silent protest.
State Deputy Police Commissioner Datuk Dev Kumar in a statement said a police report was lodged against the S4S members earlier today (Sept 30), and the case would be investigated under Section 8(3) of the National Anthem Act 1968.
“Several persons who did not stand up when the national anthem (Negaraku) was played during a function at a hotel in Kuching will be called to give statements,” said Dev. — DayakDaily