STAR leader pits ‘Borneo Dragons’ with ‘Harimau Malaya’ to rally Sarawakians to fight for state’s rights

Lina Soo

KUCHING, March 27: Instead of refraining from disturbing the ‘sleeping tiger’ (Malaya), State Reform Party (STAR) suggests the ‘Borneo Dragons’ (Sarawak and Sabah) rise up now.

STAR president Lina Soo urged all Sarawakians to fight for the state’s rights instead of backing off as suggested by former Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Harris Salleh.

It has been reported by Daily Express that Harris called on Sabah leaders to stop fighting blindly for equal partnership status and to come up with clear details about what they were actually fighting for as the Malayan counterpart had been largely silent.

He described Malaya as a “sleeping tiger” that Sabah must not disturb and that Sarawak and Sabah were only two states within the 14 states (including Singapore) when the Federation was formed.

“The declaration clearly stated there were 14 states in the Federation. Basing that all of them were equal, the federal government has administered the country accordingly, notwithstanding that the Constitution has stated there are three partners (since Singapore left in 1965) namely Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya,” Harris was quoted saying in a statement.

Soo, in her statement in response to Harris’, said she presumed Harris’ “sleeping tiger” was “Harimau Malaya”.

“Harris is a typical example of a ‘true product’ of colonial mentality proving that Sarawak and Sabah have been subdued and ‘swallowed by a ‘tiger’ from afar,” she said, adding that such mentality was the root cause of the predicaments Sarawak and Sabah were facing today.

“Unless such mentality is corrected, the future for Sarawak and Sabah will be bleak and a complete walkover, hands down,” reckoned Soo.

She urged the people of the two states in Borneo to look deeper into the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

“For built into MA63 is Article VIII: The Governments of the Federation of Malaya, North Borneo and Sarawak will take such legislative, executive or other action as may be required to implement the assurances, undertakings and recommendations contained in Chapter 3 of, and Annexes A and B to, the Report of the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) signed on 27th February 1963, in so far as they are not implemented by express provision of the Constitution of Malaysia.

“Therein lies the right for the Sarawak (and) Sabah Governments to invoke Article VIII to enforce executive and other means to implement the rights and safeguards contained in the IGC Report, which the Federal Government has failed to fulfil.

“This Constitutional power lies within the State DUN (Assembly) of Sarawak and Sabah to invoke and implement as mandated in Article VIII of MA63,” said Soo.

For that constitutional power to be invoked, the people of Sarawak and Sabah must first be awakened.

“Now the people of Sarawak (and) Sabah must wake up and call to action this constitutional and legal power bestowed upon the state governments to fix and correct all the injustices and grievances suffered by Sarawak Sabah for the past 56 years.

“It is better late than never that the ‘Borneo Dragons’ must awaken and arise to prevent being swallowed up by the ‘Harimau ’ in sleep before they wake up to find themselves in the tiger’s stomach!” said Soo. — DayakDaily