Saturday, July 11

State rights: Sarawak BN messed up ~ Malaysiakini

Sarawak PKR chief Dominique Ng rebuked the state's tourism minister Michael Manyin for saying that the basic rights of the state as contained in the 20-point Malaysia Agreement would be lost if Pakatan Rakyat were to form the government.

"It was the Sarawak BN that had partially traded off immigration powers as provided for in the 20-point Malaysia Agreement when the requirement for passports or filling immigration forms for Malaysians from other states coming into Sarawak was abolished in 2005," he said.

Ng, the state assemblyperson for Padungan, added: "Instead the state BN government is on record for having abused immigration powers of the state to stop opposition leaders from entering the state.

"In contrast to the BN government, a future PR government in Sarawak will ensure that the posts of director of labour, senior assistant director, assistant director and all of the senior labour posts will be filled by Sarawakians or long term residents married to Sarawakians.

"Labour interests in Sarawak can only be looked into by local officers with special understanding of labour matters,"
he said.

'BN abolished use of English'

Ng explained that the use of English as an official language in the state was a right clearly stated in the Malaysia agreement.

“It was abolished by the BN government in the mid-80s, much to the detriment of educational progress in Sarawak," he said.

The BN government, added Ng, had presided over the unfair distribution of natural resources.

Forty-six years after independence, the people of Sarawak are still being given 5 percent of the oil profits as royalty, though Sarawak is a major oil-producing state.

"Poverty in Sarawak is among the highest, and development of Sarawak is lagging far behind the rest of the nation," he said.

Manyin had warned the people that they stood to lose many of their fundamental rights as Sarawakians if they wanted change for the sake of change.

"I feel disturbed by some Sarawakians who call for a change of government and leadership using peninsula-based Pakatan Rakyat as their political platform.

"This is dangerous because it could result in Sarawak losing its rights as contained in the 20-point agreement when it helped to form Malaysia in 1963,"
he said.

Absurd claims by minister

Manyin added that some areas in the agreement were meant to give Sarawakians a head-start over their more advanced West Malaysian counterparts.

Meanwhile, Ng said Sarawak's representation in the federal cabinet had declined, especially the absence of representation from the minister's own Bidayuh community.

"Should he not first champion the interests of his own community at the federal level?

"He will not get anywhere trying to deflect the neglect of his own community by his absurd claims about a possible PR government in Sarawak in future,"
he stressed.

Ng assured that a future PR government in Sarawak as promised by Anwar Ibrahim, the PKR de facto leader, would respect the agreed rights of people of Sabah and Sarawak and bestow an improved level of state autonomy.

The PR government would also improve the representation of the two states in the federal cabinet by creating a second deputy prime minister to be filled by a Sabah or Sarawak Malaysian.

It will also improve the presence of officers from the two states in the foreign and diplomatic service; raise the oil royalty from the current 5 percent to 20 percent and provide a modern highway for Sarawak and narrow the development gap between East and Peninsula Malaysia.

"What is the BN government offering Sarawak in comparison?" Ng asked.

1 comment:

Agom said...

In the process of negotiating the formation of Malaysia, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman assured that the State governments of Sabah and Sarawak would have control of their own regions on immigration policies when the delegations from both states expressed their fears for possible unimpeded migration from other states of Malaysia. The assurance by Tunku has became a law then, the Immigration Act 1963, giving special powers to the State authority to give direction to State immigration director over who should be entering the state. It looks funny, the restriction on Malaysia citizen`s right of entry into Sabah and Sarawak, but the law is as such. Is the law good to enhance 1Malaysia concept to foster unity in Malaysians of all races? It is possible that the Act can be abused to ban the entry of any individual to the two states by the state governments, whom they consider as undesirable immigrant.

On the use of English, it would remain as an international language within Malaysia and would continue to be used as the medium of instruction in schools. Today, the English language is still can be used:-

(i) in either in Parliament by a member from the state of Sabah and Sarawak;

(ii) for proceedings in the High Court of Borneo and in subordinate court in the state of Sabah and Sarawak, and

(iii) in the Legislative Assembly in the state of Sabah and Sarawak.

However, the government`s decision to revert the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English to Bahasa Malaysia, met with negative comments from educationists and politicians, including Tun Dr. Mahathir. Some people were in the opinion that the move by the government was political motivated just to satisfy certain groups.