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KUCHING: The state Barisan Nasional coalition should table the motion to re-claim Sarawak’s rights as enshrined by the Malaysia Agreement 1963, not the opposition.
State Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen’s special assistant Dr Kelvin Yii said BN component party Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) is either purposefully trying to mislead the public, or they have failed to understand the procedures and practices of the democratic process in Malaysia.
“All they can do is try to shift the blame to ‘one man’ (Pakatan Harapan chairman and former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) for their own failures to protect the interest of Sarawak in the first place,” said Dr Yii in a press statement today.
“When YB Chong Chieng Jen challenged BN Sarawak to table the motion to restore our rightful status, it is because if (the motion were to be) tabled by them it will be then a government’s bill and take priority over all the proceedings in Parliament.
“If the opposition were to table the bill, it will just be a private members’ bill and in a majority of the cases, it will not be given priority and even given time for it to be debated in Parliament,” said Dr Yii.
Dr Yii said this in defense of Chong who is also Bandar Kuching MP as well as Kota Sentosa assemblyman who has been challenged by SUPP to table a motion to regain Sarawak’s right.
“This shows either SUPP does not understand the proceedings of Parliament or they and BN Sarawak are afraid to do so as they are only subservient to UMNO and are now made to beg for our rights even though they could restore right now if they wanted to do so.
“On top of that, it was SUPP and all the component parties in BN Sarawak that gave away our rights to the federal government in the first place.
“When they willingly gave it without any objection in the first place, then why would the federal government even give it back if BN Sarawak as part of the ruling government, kept quiet and didn’t ask for it back?
“It is as if they don’t want our rights anymore and just freely trade it away for their own self-interest,” said Dr Yii.
He added SUPP had failed to protect Sarawak’s interest and betrayed the state and now the party has tried to shift the blame of their failure to one man, just because he is now part of the opposition.
“They also keep blaming that ‘one man’ and the federal government for the lack of development in the state when it is also their failure and mismanagement of our Sarawak’s resources that caused us to be left behind.
“Fact of the matter is, Sarawak could just have easily been developed through our own resources including our timber resources on top of the federal spending. We are rich in other resources besides oil and gas, and all those if managed properly could have been used to develop the state,” said Dr YIi.
He said Sarawak’s resources including timber, oil palm and other agricultural concessions were not well distributed and only a small elite group in the state have profited from the said resources.
“We in Pakatan Harapan Sarawak are all Sarawakians, and will fight for what is rightfully ours as well as voice out against injustice and discrimination in our land.
“Once Pakatan Harapan comes into power, we as Sarawakians will not have to beg anymore for our rights of autonomy as we are determined to fully acknowledge our rightful status and standing in the federation.
“We are not like Barisan Nasional, where all the other component parties are subservient to UMNO. The leadership in Pakatan Harapan is of consensus from each party and each promise is not just offered by ‘one man’, but the whole coalition and parties,” said Dr Yii.