‘State govt should follow PH’s example to regain state’s rights’

Voon Shiak Ni

KUCHING, Feb 21: Instead of begging Putrajaya to return the state’s rights, Sarawak’s leaders should just follow the example set by Pakatan Harapan (PH) whose manifesto recognises Sarawak’s rights and native customary land rights, said a state PKR leader.

PKR women national vice-chief Voon Shiak Ni said all Sarawakians are feeling the pain and anguish over the ongoing negotiation to get back the state’s rights which has already breached the four-year mark.

“It has been a few years since the negotiation with the federal (government) for the devolution of power and the claim for the hike in oil and gas royalty to 20 per cent and our claim over the validity of the Territorial Waters Act which till to date we are still waiting for a nod of approval at the negotiation table with the federal government led by (Prime Minister Datuk Seri) Najib (Tun) Razak,” said Voon.

Voon, the PH women national chief for Sarawak affairs, said the Opposition alliance, on the other hand, had already spelled out its pledges to return the state’s rights in its manifesto.

In addition, PH also pledged to abolish GST within the first 100 days after it takes over Putrajaya.

“Would it be wiser to wait at the negotiation table for the nod from the present BN (Barisan Nasional) government or wiser to cast your vote for a change in the federal government where all our rights have already been approved (on) and written down?” she told a press conference today, stressing that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg should follow suit.

“I am a Sarawakian. My comrades from PKR, DAP and Amanah are all Sarawakians. We hear our own fellow Sarawakians because we feel the same pain and agony. We stay here in the opposition for one good reason and that is to stand up and fight for Sarawakians and our rights.

“That is why we put down the rights of Sarawakians on paper and wrote it down in our PH manisfesto for Sarawak.”

Voon pointed out the fact that all Sarawakians regardless of political inclinations stood together when UMNO leaders degraded and despised Sarawakians, like the incident when Umno supreme council member Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz told state Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah to watch his mouth when issuing statements criticising the federal government .

“We all felt the pain of being bullied and despised and we see the urgency to change the federal government which is controlled by Umno.

“Why do we still need to ‘kowtow’ (bow down) to them if they show no respect for our leaders here and only come here to ensure Sarawak let’s them win big (in the general elections)?”

Voon said that Sarawak has been neglected for 55 years since 1963 and something must be done about it. — DayakDaily