Seceding from Malaysia: S4S challenges state government to call for a referendum

File photo of a previous S4S gathering at Padang Merdeka.

KUCHING, September 14: Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S) is urging the state government to follow the footsteps of Catalonia and Ireland by using a referendum to pursue independence from the Federation of Malaysia.

The movement’s representative Chan Chee Hiong said since 2013, the pro-democracy movement of the people of Sarawak had been actively claiming the Referendum Act and Autonomous Rights.

At the same time, Chan noted that Ireland and Catalonia were facing difficulties in their agenda for independence through referendum.

“Can Sarawak follow the footsteps of Ireland and Catalonia? A referendum should be held and let Sarawakians decide whether to stay or get out from the Federation of Malaysia.

“It depends on Sarawakians whether they are ready to fight back their own wealth or choose to give away their own and children’s wealth as a reward.

“Whether the referendum will get the attention of the (federal) government or not, it is better to say that it is up to Sarawakians whether they want a referendum to decide to stay or leave Malaysia to move towards a better Sarawak,” he said in a statement.

Chan said during the past decade, Sarawak became a victim of power seizure by the Declaration of State Emergency by the Federal government, where the wealth and welfare of Sarawakians were seized from Sarawak’s own pockets.

He cited an example where in recent years, the efforts of the Irish and Catalan citizens to demand independence and autonomy through referendum had become a focus on the eyes of the world.

Chan said Ireland and Catalonia were ruled in the beginning of the war. When western countries ended feudalism and imperial power for democracy, the people began to focus on the interests of their rights to exit the tyranny of federal control and the system of injustice of a nation to become an independent republic.

In contrast to other countries, Chan said Sarawak was based on the United Nations (UN) procedures during the formation of Malaysia by the signing of the Malaysia Agreement (MA63) and being a partner in the Federation of Malaysia. Sarawak was not attacked and became a colony of Malaya.

“In another view, if an agreement or contract is signed, then it can also be terminated. This means Sarawak can also terminate the agreement and then take this opportunity by using the referendum to determine the future of the Sarawak.

“Thankfully, recent posts in social media has also been published in all sectors about the referendum, including former parliamentarians, political party representatives and lawyers. They even provide professional and personal opinions of the referendum on social media,” he said.

On that take, Chan challenged the Federal government for its view on referendum-based democracy.

“Will Sarawak’s appeal to the referendum and autonomous rights be observed by the international community?” he wondered. — DayakDaily