KUCHING, August 21: Sarawak for Sarawak (S4S) today questioned Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah’s rationale for describing their 10 recommendations that was unveiled on Aug 18 as “unreasonable and dangerous”.
Its spokesperson, Tan Kok Chiang, argued that it was not only within the judicial powers of the Sarawak legislature (DUN) to implement the recommendations but some of it had been raised by state leaders previously or discussed in the DUN.
“(So) how can it (recommendations) be unreasonable and dangerous?” Tan asked in a press statement, adding that all the recommendations were also in compliance with Sarawak’s rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Inter-governmental Committee Report 1962 (IGC Report).
“We would like to remind Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah that demanding Sarawak’s rights does not jeopardise national unity. Did it jeopardise national unity when Sarawak’s rights were eroded by the federal government?” he said.
Tan claimed that the oil and gas issue had been the “plague” that has been bothering the people of Sarawak for years. He opined that if the Petroleum Development Act 1974 enacted by Parliament should be respected, so should the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 (OMO) that was enacted by DUN.
“The state government has been harping on devolution of powers for years, but we have not seen any concrete recommendations by the state government,” he said.
Tan wondered if the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government should take up the 10 recommendations and debate them in DUN or would they be like the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government and fail to deliver its promises to the state.
“If GPS refuses to listen to the people’s demands, be prepared to be replaced in the next state election,” cautioned Tan.
The 10 recommendations of S4S are as follows:
1) DUN to establish a Sarawak Sovereign Wealth Fund.
2) Execute the judicial powers of OMO1958 and shutdown the operations of any company that fails to comply with Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) by Dec 31, 2018.
3) Announce a reduction in electricity tariff.
4) Reinstate local council election.
5) To establish a Sarawak Central Bank
6) Enforce passport system upon entry to Sarawak
7) Setup study loan/bonds for Sarawak top students (STPM, UEC, A Level or equivalents). They are required to serve the Sarawak government upon graduation.
8) Announce the MA63 findings from the Sarawak legal team’s London trip in 2017. Set up a team to run MA63 roadshows in every division in Sarawak to educate the general public about MA63.
9) Stop all official ceremonies on Aug 31. Sarawak should celebrate July 22 as Sarawak Independence Day and Sept 16 as Malaysia Day instead.
10) Sarawak government to take over MASwings and make it a subsidiary of Hornbill Skyways. — DayakDaily