‘Treat Sarawak equally to address secession notions’

Sarawak DAP says the only way to reduce secession calls in Sabah and Sarawak is to address inequality between East and West Malaysia.

Amending the Sedition Act and criminalising Sarawakians and Sabahans who call for referendum on secession is plain regrettable, says Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen.

Using the Act to suppress the secession movement, he adds, is the wrong way to do it, “because for every action, there is a reaction, and for every suppression, there is a counter action”.

“In order words they will fight back,” says the Bandar Kuching MP, who spoke up during the debate on Sedition Act amendments in Parliament.

Chong told reporters today that while he might not support the movement for secession, he would defend their right to demand for a referendum.

For the past three years, the calls for secession have become louder in both Sabah and Sarawak, so much so that the Federal Government has to introduce the amendment to the Sedition Act to criminalise any call for secession.

The Sedition (Amendment) Bill 2015 was passed by Parliament at 2.30am on Friday.

Sabah and S'wak 'neglected'

Chong said the federal government must also address the violation of the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement, which protects the rights of Sarawak and Sabah.

The Agreement was to bring development in Sabah and Sarawak on par with development in Malaya, but the two states had been mistreated and neglected, he alleged.

Chong cited a list of violation of the rights of Sarawak by the federal. They include the hudud issue, sending of 4,000 teachers to rural Sabah and Sarawak to carry out an Islamisation agenda, and the refusal to respect the request by the state for the gas and oil royalty increase.

Sarawak, he said, was very concerned over the Islamisation agenda as Malaysia was formed not to be an Islamic state.

“These are the causes of strong sentiments for the people Sabah and Sarawak to call for secession.

“The right thing for the government to do is to address the inequality of treatment and respect the rights of the people of Sabah and Sarawak.

“In this way, the government will reduce the sentiments to call for secession,” he stressed.

on MalaysiaKini(Apr 11, 2015)