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KUCHING, April 21: State Reform Party (STAR) president Lina Soo expressed shock at State Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chief Baru Bian’s recent press statement questioning the motives of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) lawmakers in abstaining to vote on the recent amendment bill to restore Sarawak and Sabah’s status in Parliament.
“If by not voting for the Amendment to Article 1(2) put before Parliament on April 9 makes one a traitor to Sarawak, would this not make Sarawak politicians who pursue personal interests above the interests of Sarawakians, all the more greater traitors?” asked Soo.
Soo said that she also disagreed with Baru that it is not necessary to bring this matter to the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN).
“By his lackadaisical attitude Baru is showing his disrespect for his electorate who put him in Parliament and DUN to look after the interests of the rakyat, but instead ignoring their right to full information and consensus on Sarawak’s important issues.
“There is no greater concern for Sarawak than constitutional issues which affect the territorial integrity and dignity of the people, and consensus must be sought from the people and lawmakers in DUN. The people must be engaged in the decision-making process and making light of such concerns is an insult to the intelligence of the people of Sarawak,” Soo said in a statement today.
She also questioned why the Bahasa Malaysia (BM) version of the Amendment was not revealed to the people of Sarawak.
“Even though the Amendment in English followed the wording as in Article 4 of the Malaysia Bill of Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), translation into BM had denigrated the status of Sarawak and Sabah into ‘Negeri-Negeri Borneo,” she added.
Soo said that in the Federal Constitution, the national language version prevails over the English one. Additionally, in 1963, the Constitutions of Sabah and Singapore annexed to MA63 had named the Head of State as Yang Di-Pertua Negara.
Soo said ‘concealing’ of BM version of the amendment bill was aking to a promised bride all wrapped and covered up, who upon unveiling turns out to be entirely different from what was guaranteed by the matchmaker.
She also questioned why the Pakatan Harapan (PH) lawmakers were so desperate for Sarawakians to give them a blank cheque by insisting that they must support the Amendment without allowing time and room for scrutiny.
Soo also made reference to Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How’s willingness to table a Referendum Bill in DUN again at the May sitting.
Soo asked See if he had heard the voices of many Sarawakians who are demanding for an independence referendum as she claimed a growing number of Sarawakians realise that remaining in the federation had brought no benefit to Sarawak, but resulted in ‘gargantuan’ economic loss as oil and gas revenue and taxes had been siphoned off to the Malaya states for their development.
She also asked if See would table a motion in DUN for an independence referendum for Sarawak at the behest of many Sarawakians in their call for exit from the Federation.
As for the claim that the Sarawakians’ rights had been transgressed by the Sarawak MPs’ rejection of the Amendment on April 9, Soo called for both Baru and See to engage in a debate with her and Peter John Jaban on the topic: “Rejecting the Constitutional Amendment of July 9 is a Betrayal of Sarawakians”.
“A debate is a sign of a thriving democracy and political maturity. As YB Baru had called upon the people of Sarawak to be the judge, let this debate allow the people to judge who are the real traitors of Sarawak.
“If the two PKR elected representatives decline to defend their stand then they must apologise to the people of Sarawak for supporting a constitutional amendment which will lock in Sarawak as a Negeri of the Federation, no more no less, on parity with Negeri Kedah or Negeri Perlis,” said Soo. — DayakDaily