Call on Sarawakian voters tomorrow to stand up and lead Malaysians in “Battle for New Malaysia 2.0” in the next 40 and 50 years to make Malaysia a world-class great nation
The 12th Sarawak general election on Dec. 18, 2021 has turned out to be the most important Sarawak general election in the history of Malaysia although it started off as an ordinary state general election.
Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021 changed the whole scenario as on that day the Federal Constitution was amended with the unanimous support of Members of Parliament on both sides of the aisle to undo the injustices of the 1976 Constitution Amendment Act which made Sarawakians lose their rights under Malaysia Agreement 1963 for half-a-century in terms of fair financial allocations, meaningful state autonomy especially in education and health, fair apportionment of oil funds and equitable development prospects.
But all these injustices were stopped on Dec. 14, 2021, which saw the Federal Constitution amended to revert to the original position where Sarawak was one of the three entities – together with Sabah and Malaya – which formed Malaysia in 1963 instead of becoming one of the 13 Malaysian states.
But what happened in Parliament on Dec. 14 only the first step in a long journey to restore the rights and interests of Sarawakians as promised in MA63.
DAP had been proved right by history, as the nine DAP MPs were the only Members of Parliament to vote against the 1976 Constitution Amendment Bill, but Sarawak paid heavily in terms of lost rights for close to half-a-century.
One of the challenges of the new Sarawak State Assembly which will be elected tomorrow is to claim fair compensation from the Federal government for the half-a-century of neglect, which caused two to three generations of Sarawakians to lose full citizenship rights with regard to fair financial allocations, meaningful state autonomy especially in education and health, fair apportionment of oil funds and equitable development prospects.
But all these changes would not be possible if not for the 14th General Election where Pakatan Harapan ended UMNO’s political hegemony for nearly half-a-century, where Sarawak government leaders had to kowtow to UMNO’s wishes – and this was the real reason for the 1976 Constitution Amendment Act which reduced Sarawak from one of the three entities which formed Malaysia to one of the 13 Malaysian states.
That was the Battle for a New Malaysia 1.0, where the DAP was involved from our formation in 1966 to 2018.
Now we must be prepared for the Battle for a New Malaysia 2.0 to ensure that in four or five decades’ time, Malaysia can become a world-class great nation.
The unanimous vote in Parliament on 14th December to amend the Federal Constitution to restore Sarawak’s original position should give hope to many that one must not surrender to despair and despondency, that however bleak the prospects appear to be, it is possible to turn things around and to start anew provided we have the stamina, perseverance and grit for a long-term political struggle, lasting decades and not just years.
In the past half-a-century, Malaysia has been losing out to other nations, overtaken first by Taiwan, then South Korea, Singapore and Vietnam and if we do not buck up, we will lose out to other nations in the coming decades – including Indonesia.
We must launch the Battle for a New Malaysia 2.0, which may take three or four decades for Malaysia to achieve the status of a world-class great nation.
This can be done provided Malaysians have the vision and the stamina for such an objective, and I call on the voters of Sarawak tomorrow to provide the leadership in such a commitment when they cast their vote in the Sarawak general election.
GPS leaders are quite confident that they will return as the Sarawak state government, even with two-thirds majority.
I urge the voters of Sarawak not to split their votes and unite behind the DAP go deny GSP two-thirds majority by voting for at least 28 Pakatan Harapan Assemblypersons in the new Sarawak State Assembly tomorrow.