Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Sarawak’s had enough ‘hot air’ talk

Kuching MP says most of Putrajaya’s policies are Peninsular Malaysia-centric.

KUALA LUMPUR: Sarawak has had enough of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s sweet talk about increasing the allocation for Sarawak.

“It’s only hot air because when we look at the 2015 Budget, we do not see Sarawak getting more allocation,” said Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen when debating the budget speech in Parliament.

“Let the Sarawak government decide on its own how to develop Sarawak. Meet our demand for 20 per cent oil royalty.”

Chong, who is also the DAP Sarawak chairman, reminded Putrajaya that there were parallels between Scotland, which held a Referendum on September 18, and Sabah and Sarawak on the other hand.

The perception that Scotland was being unfairly treated by the British government, an echo of similar feelings in Sabah and Sarawak vis-à-vis Putrajaya, resulted in the September 18 Referendum, Chong pointed out.

“Is the Federal government going to suppress sentiments (in Sabah and Sarawak) by resorting to the Sedition Act?” asked Chong. “The British government dealt with conflict through a Referendum and not by clamping down on dissent by using laws like the Sedition Act.”

“Is the government going to allow a referendum to be held in Borneo, like in Scotland?”

The grouses of Sabahans and Sarawakians, he continued, were not unfounded as most of Putrajaya’s policies were in favour of the peninsula.

The RM400 million the government paid in highway concessions to keep toll rates low, RM50 billion mass rapid transit (MRT) project, and the housing policy will not benefit Borneo, argued Chong in citing three examples of Putrajaya being Peninsular Malaysia-centric.

Giving an analogy, he claimed that villages in Sarawak for example don’t even have access roads while Peninsular Malaysians enjoy the luxury of griping about traffic jams.

“The feeling that they were being unfairly treated has resulted in movements like Sarawak for Sarawakians, Sarawak Autonomy Movement, Sarawak Sovereignty Movement, and Sabah Sarawak Keluar Malaysia (SSKM),” he said.

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