S4S says arrest of 8 student activists in Sabah ‘excessive’, influenced by Malayan parties

Tan Kok Chiang

KUCHING, Sept 17: Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S) has condemned the use of excessive force on eight student activists who protested against the loss of rights of Sabahans.

Its spokesperson Tan Kok Chiang said there was a stark difference between how activists were treated in Sarawak and Sabah on Malaysia Day yesterday (Sept 16).

“On the same day, S4S Miri shouted slogans such as ‘Sarexit’, where it was done under police protection. The police even sent riders to go before the peaceful protest in Miri.

“In Kuching here, we organised a ‘flash mob’ gathering. We also shouted the same slogan, and instead of being arrested, we did it under the protection of the police,” Tan told DayakDaily.

He pointed out that the student protesters were only trying to create awareness over 10 issues affecting Sabah, among them education, poverty, native land, citizenship, housing, security, environment and job opportunity.

“Yet, they were treated with excessive force and were arrested. The stark difference in terms of treatment has been due to the great influence of Malayan parties in Sabah.

“That is why we would like to call on everyone not to allow Malayan-based parties to enter Sarawak. Those who are thinking of joining Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) must think twice,” he advised.

On the promise of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to accord Sarawak and Sabah equal status, Tan said he welcomed the statement, which he said proved that the efforts of S4S over the years were not in vain.

Even though S4S did not expect things to change overnight, the group believed there were things that could be carried out soon to honour that promise. They are as follows: (1), repeal the Petroleum Development Act (PDA74) and Territorial Sea Act 2012 (TSA), (2) return Sarawak’s oil and gas rights, (3) address Sarawak as an Associated State or an ‘Equal Partner’, (4) amend the Federal Constitution to restore the status of Sarawak and Sabah, (5) respect the status of Sarawak and put an end to Malayan parties’ interference in the internal affairs of Sarawak and withdraw the entry of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia from Sarawak, and (6) announce Aug 31 as Malaya’s Independence Day. — DayakDaily