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By Karen Bong
SIBU, Feb 8: Sarawak will never concede its immigration autonomy, the judicial system and rights over land (Sarawak Land Code) including its resources particularly oil and gas.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the state ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) will go all out to defend and fight for Sarawak rights.
Remaining united and strong is crucial for the coalition to protect the people and the state according to the Federal Constitution and Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), he added.
“As long as GPS is in power, step over my dead body first. Let us remain united but we are not saying we are leaving Malaysia.
“The rights and agreement in MA63 must be recognised because that’s our rights,” he said when launching GPS Sibu (Zone 9) at the Civic Centre here today.
Noting that there were some noise out there wanting to get rid of Sarawak’s immigration power, the GPS chairman reminded those who refused to respect the state laws to not come to Sarawak.
“Immigration control is ours. Whoever wants to enter Sarawak must sign the form first, then you are allowed to enter Sarawak. There are certain quarters who want to challenge this, questioning why the need to fill in form, after all we are still in Malaysia.
“Just fill in the two required forms as it is the state law. You need to fill form when entering Malaysia, and another form to enter Sarawak, just fill it. If you refused to fill it, then don’t come (to Sarawak),” he continued.
Abang Johari pointed out that immigration control was necessary to secure Sarawak from encroachment as the state and Peninsular Malaysia were divided by the vast South China Sea.
“They (illegal immigrants) could come in using boats, I don’t know. There are also Bangladeshi, Pakistani, and Indonesian. Sarawak is a peaceful place and if the bad ones seeped through, we will ‘faint’ (be in trouble) if not properly managed, which is what happened in other places.
“As such, Sarawak immigration autonomy must be safeguarded at all cost. GPS will protect and defend this,” he said.
On the two high courts in Malaysia, High Court of Malaya and High Court of Borneo, he explained that lawyers from Peninsular Malaysia cannot practised in Sarawak unless there were no local counsel representation.
“That is called ad hoc license. I am not a lawyer but I will protect the lawyers in Sarawak,” he said.
Abang Johari reaffirmed his stand against the merging of Land Code of Sarawak with the National Land Code, as it would threatened Sarawakians’ rights over land.
“That’s our rights over land including oil and gas resources, which we are now battling in court and I will not give way.
“Our lawyers are going in and out of court today because I am taking the ris, as it is our rights,” he said, while reminding the words of wisdom from late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem (Tok Nan), “biar putih tulang, jangan putih mata” (better death than dishonour).
Abang Johari reminded that Adenan had appealed for oil royalty to be increased, in which Putrajaya and Petronas refused. In this regards, the former looked into Sarawak Constitution and Malaysia Constitution, and discovered that Sarawak can impose sales tax on petroleum products produced in the state.
“So I imposed the five per cent sales tax to require them to pay tax to Sarawak. All other major oil companies operating here paid except Petronas (which is) being stubborn.
“Only GPS leaders are brave and bold enough to bring such matter to court. ‘Jangan takut, anang cabut’ (have no fear, no retreat),” he said. — DayakDaily