Friday, 19 September 2014

Masing tells Putrajaya to understand calls for secession

Sarawak minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing (pic) has thrown a word of caution to the prime minister, who had warned those pushing for the secession of Sarawak and Sabah from Malaysia to prepare to face “the full force of the law”.

Masing said the government should not be too eager to throw activists promoting secession behind bars without first listening to their grouses, which are pushing them towards separation.

“Don't kill the messenger or else we may miss the message," Masing said in response to Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Malaysia Day speech in Miri on Tuesday night, where he had warned Sabah and Sarawak nationalists to be prepared for action against them.

Masing, a Barisan Nasional heavyweight and president of the second largest BN party in the state, said so far the call for secession by groups in Sarawak and Sabah were only “lots of thunder and lightning but no rain”.

The Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president said even though their dissatisfaction with Malaysia was currently all talk, it would still be unwise of Najib to treat their unhappiness lightly.

“We must look at the complaints and do our best to remedy them if indeed they are justifiable,” Masing said.

PKR state chief Baru Bian, in his Malaysia Day message, had also sounded a warning that “voices in Sarawak and Sabah calling for secession from the federation will increase in number and strength with the increasing realisation of the broken promises of the Malaysia agreement”.

Baru said rising resentment about the unfair treatment accorded to Sarawak by Putrajaya had already seen the emergence of voices such as the Sovereignty Movement, Sarawak for Sarawakians and Sarawak Association for Peoples Aspiration (SAPA) calling for secession.

“We are only seeing the start of such movements,” Baru said. –  September 19, 2014.

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