Voon: Is Pakatan trying to derail Sarawak’s track to full independence?

Voon Lee Shan

KUCHING, July 27: Sarawak Pakatan Harapan chairman Chong Chieng Jen’s remark that the state should amend the gazette notification of Sarawak Independence Day to Sarawak Day has drawn flak from Parti Bumi Kenyalang.

Its president Voon Lee Shan said the “declaration of independence” by the late Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem in May 2016 was to pressure Putrajaya to return Sarawak rights.

It was also to let Sarawakians know that the journey to independence began on July 22, 1963, and Sarawak was to complete the decolonisation process under United Nations Resolutions 1514 and 1541 for internal self governance, he added.

“I am not so sure whether Chong was speaking as a Sarawakian first or Malaya first, when he said the declaration of independence by Adenan should be degazetted.

“In the quest of independence for Sarawak, let us vote Chong and Pakatan out of Sarawak so that the road to independence would be smoother for Sarawakians to walk on,” the former Batu Lintang assemblyman said in a statement today.

Voon pointed out that Sarawak was only given internal self governance and not independence on three reasons.

First, the British governor was still in the Astana until Sept 15, 1963. Tun Abang Openg Abang Sapiee only moved into the Astana at 4pm that day about two hours after the British governor left.

Secondly, external affairs were still much under British control at that time, and third, there was no Sarawak Independence Act passed by the Parliament until today, said Voon.

“The United Kingdom (UK) still has a political obligation to see Sarawak gain its independence. I humbly say that the UK, after giving Malaya independence, parked Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak with Malaya, which took a new name (Federation of Malaysia).

“This was recorded in the United Nation (UN) Juridical Yearbook 1963 that no new nation was born. UK parked Sarawak with Malaya because Sarawak was not ready to fully govern itself,” he explained.

According to Voon, UK wanted to park Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak with Malaya on reason that UK’s resources, caused by the war, dwindled and could no longer maintain her colonies.

He also mentioned PE Pike, then Attorney General of Sarawak, advised the Colonial Office that Sarawak could not as a colony, sign the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and that it should be a bilateral agreement between UK and Malaya.

“UK acting against the advice of Pike should know the Treaty would not be valid under International law.

“The recent advisory opinion delivered on Feb 25, 2019, by the UN International Court of Justice on the Chagos Archipelago case is very clear that Treaties signed between parent countries and colonies are invalid under international law,” Voon said.

Chong, who is also state Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman, yesterday called on the state government to amend the gazette notification after the state legislative assembly legal advisor, Datuk Seri JC Fong, came out with a statement that July 22 is not the Independence Day of Sarawak.

The Stampin MP said this could lead to a confusion as to whether it is Sarawak Day or Sarawak Independence Day. The gazette notification terms July 22 as Sarawak Independence Day, he added. — DayakDaily