S4S to hold public talk in Sibu on Sarawak Day

Activist Lina Soo asks Sarawakians to fly Sarawak flag the right way to commemorate Sarawak Day on July 22. - dayakdaily.com

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KUCHING: Sarawak For Sarawakians (S4S) will be holding a public talk in Sibu on July 22 in conjunction with Sarawak Day celebration, activist Lina Soo told reporters at a press conference here.

She urged Sarawakians to attend talk, which will be held at Paramount Hotel from 1.30pm, if they want to know the constitutional history of Sarawak and the formation of Malaysia.

She said she will speak on “Sarawak secrets from the British documents” based upon her month-long research at the British National Archives in London.

The others who will speak are academician and Cambridge-trained social anthropologist Dr Awang Hasmadi Awang Mois, on “Cultural and religious factors in nation building” while senior lawyer Patrick Anek Uren will touch on “Malaysia Agreement 1963 and income disequilibrium between Malaya and Sarawak”.

Activist Dzulfiqar Yeu will speak on “Decolonisation and self-determination” while activist Jarau Ajan of Pertubuhan Anak Dayak Sarawak will address the audience.

Lina lamented that Sarawak Day is approaching, yet she finds it that there are very few Sarawakians flying the Sarawak flag.

She urged Sarawakians to fly the Sarawak flag the right way during the month of July to commemorate Sarawak Day of self-determination.

On the legal team sent to London, Lina said that the fact-finding mission trip is justified and necessary if the team carries out its forensic mission with professionalism and scrutinise all available documents pertaining to the formation of Malaysia.

“In 1962, the Greater Malaysia Scheme was accelerated into a “crash programme” despite the British government’s admission that all the three Borneo territories, namely Sarawak, Sabah and Brunei, were unprepared and incapable of entering into merger with Malaya which had already been Independent since 1957,” Lina said.

She noted that certain Sarawak politicians have severely criticised the legal team’s mission purely for the sake of criticism without wanting to look behind the issue of Sarawak’s position as an equal partner in the federation of Malaysia.

“Malayan parties fear that if Sarawak and Sabah are able to show they have equal rights as equal partners, this would mean that “Malaysia” would be a regional arrangement of three autonomous territories in the federation instead of 13 states,” she said.

Lina said these Malayan parties also failed to raise relevant questions over the erosion of Sarawak’s rights because they acquiesce to the Malaya agenda – both the BN and Pakatan Harapan – of dominating Sarawak’s territorial integrity and exploiting our resources.

She said the Opposition MPs, including Lim Kit Siang, Lee Lam Thye and Dr Chen Man Hin, did not voice their objection when amendments to Article 1(2) was tabled in Parliament in 1976.

“So, you see we cannot really trust Malayan parties when it comes to protecting Sarawak’s rights,” she said, adding that the Territorial Sea Act 2012 was one of those Acts that the opposition did not object when it was tabled and debated in Parliament.

She said under the late Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s tenure as chief minister, the Sarawak government had openly questioned the constitutional amendment of Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution which had reduced Sarawak’s political status as equal partner in the federation to merely the 13th state.

Lina said Tok Nan also raised issues with other Acts and constitutional amendments, affecting Sarawak and Sabah’s rights.

She said the ramifications of such action, coupled with findings from the Sarawak legal team’s trip could also be so serious that even opposition de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim saw it fit to speak from prison, to make his comment upon the London trip.

On balance, Lina felt that it is the Sarawak government’s lack of transparency where Sarawakians had been kept in the dark over the government’s dealing with the federal government giving rise to harsh comments whereas if the people had been kept well informed, there would have been less criticism. – dayakdaily.com