KUCHING, May 11 — Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S) civil movement group today urged the state government to immediately engage with the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government in the interest of its 2.7 million population.
“There is no need to wait. Now is the time to set things right with the new federal government under Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad,” S4S leader Peter John Jaban said.
He said the state Barisan Nasional (BN) government should not hesitate to engage with the federal government, otherwise “the entire state can be marginalised”.
Jaban also urged the 31 newly elected members of parliament from Sarawak, whether they are from PH or BN, to give priority to protecting Sarawak's rights enshrined under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
He said the PH federal government must keep its promises to the people of Sarawak in its election manifesto, adding that the treatment of Sarawak and Sabah must be high on the new federal government's agenda.
“PH is on record multiple times promising that it will provide more autonomy and greater development to both Sabah and Sarawak under MA63,” he said, these include returning the status of the two Borneo states as equal partner to Malaya in the federation of Malaysia and a promise of 20 per cent oil royalty.
Jaban said returning Sarawak's rights, which have been eroded over the years, including education and health, must also be among PH government's priority list of reforming the country's institutions, putting an end to corruption, repealing punitive and oppressive legislations, rebuilding the economy and Malaysia’s public image.
He said S4S welcomed PH in its victory in the just-concluded 14th general election, saying that Sarawakians, including the Dayaks, were among the Malaysians who voted for a change.
“At last our nation can begin to rebuild some of the terrible divisions and damage done to it,” he said.