SAPA: Sarawak must pass referendum law to gain independence

Ng speaking at the “Sarawak Independence Referendum: Is there a Way Forward?” form organised by the Sarawak Peoples’ Congress in Kuching on Dec 10, 2019.

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Dec 11: Sarawak Association for Peoples’ Aspirations (SAPA) president Dominique Ng believes that for Sarawak to regain its independence, the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) must first pass a referendum act or ordinance.

He said Sarawak has since the mid-19th century had its own Sarawak Parliament and the first DUN (which was called the General Council) sitting was held on Sept 8, 1867.

“We do have a Sarawak Parliament, since Sept 8, 1867. Our Sarawak Parliament was supreme and sovereign upon its conception, based upon the UK Constitution and Westminster model. And it was supreme for a period from 1867 till 1941,” said Ng at a forum titled “Sarawak Independence Referendum: Is there a Way Forward?” organised by Sarawak Peoples’ Congress at a hotel here on Tuesday (Dec 10) evening.

Ng who is a lawyer by profession said if Sarawak has a Parliament which was and is, supreme, then there is nothing to stop the Sarawak Parliament from assuming its inherent powers and declaring itself supreme again.

“So the solution and therefore the way forward is that the current DUN ought to assume or vest in itself again the supremacy of Parliament it once had or held and declare itself supreme again.

“One of the powers of the Sarawak Parliament would be to pass a Sarawak Independence Referendum Ordinance, so that the people of Sarawak may vote upon it — a right that was denied them by the UK and Malaya in 1962 and 1963.”

The question following then would be: what is the referendum that Sarawak wants?

“To me there is only one referendum that matters in Sarawak and that is (to determine) ‘Should Sarawak stay in Malaysia?’ or ‘Should Sarawak be an independent country?’

“For that to be done, Sarawak must have a referendum act or ordinance passed in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly. Then we put the Referendum Act and the referendum vote into action.

“If Sarawakians want independence and vote for independence, then Sarawak can gain its independence legally,” Ng concluded.

The forum which was held in conjunction with United Nations (UN) Human Rights Day 2019 saw the participation of other speakers including Sarawak Reform Party (Star) president Lina Soo and Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Bawang Assan branch chairman Robert Lau.

The moderator was SUPP Kota Sentosa branch chairman Wilfred Yap. About 100 people turned up for the forum which also passed a resolution.

The resolution states that “The peoples of Sarawak, having attained an advanced stage of self-government and high level of political maturity have the capacity to make a responsible choice through informed and democratic process, and hereby seek the right based on popular vote, to decide our political, social and economic future, in conformity with the established doctrine of Self-determination under UN Charter Article 1(2) and Article 55”. — DayakDaily