Batu Kitang Assemblyman, Lo Khere Chiang DUN speech

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Honourable Datuk Amar Speaker,

Thank you for the honour and opportunity to debate on TYT’s opening address at the first meeting of the fourth term of the 18th State Legislative Assembly (DUN). I support TYT’s address wherein TYT acknowledges our hardworking people, calls for continued peace, prosperity and understanding among our people.

Equal representation in Parliament

1. I would like to start off by reminding everyone in this August House that Sarawak is protected by the 18 points set out in MA63 and that we are entitled to equal representation in Parliament as stated in MA63.

We need to be vigilant and learn from Sabah’s predicament. Sabah is also protected by MA63 (20 points) but how did Sabah’s rights get so
eroded? Do not forget the 700,000 ICs granted to foreigners in project IC in Sabah. Our rights were heavily eroded but Sabahans’ rights were even more heavily eroded. This is because Sabahans voted to relinquish much of their rights as bill after bill was passed in their DUN. Once the bill is passed in the State Legislative Council, there is no turning back.

With unequal representation in parliament, Federal can chang constitution after constitution to suit Malaya’s needs to the detriment of Sarawak. However, MA63 has and will always maintain that there must be equal representation among the three founding states of Malaysia.

Besides equal representation in parliament, Sarawak will insist on keeping her immigration autonomy. We will also continue to maintain that PDA74 and TSA2012 are null and void because they were bills passed in parliament without the consent of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly.

Insincerity of PH Government

The Pakatan Harapan’s empty promises and their lack of sincerity have driven the whole country, especially Sarawak backwards; except for a few select states like Penang, Kedah and lately Sabah which have had a windfall of funds for some reason. It is not enough that Sarawak contributes a major bulk to the federal government’s coffers every year: 30% of Malaysia’s oil revenue and 60% of Malaysia’s gas revenue come from Sarawak. We still get next to nothing back. To add insult to injury, our grants have either been suspended or slashed after PH government took over.

Take a look at my constituency’s long awaited funds for our Haji Baki Hawker centre worth a mere RM 800,000 and our Dewan Haji Baki worth RM1million that was cut. The same goes to the RM250million flood mitigation projects mentioned by MP for Santubong that was slashed in early 2018 and the RM20 million allocation for my SK Haji Baki in my Batu Kitang constituency.

After Sarawak’s calls for equal status as a founding state, the PM has repeatedly said in parliament that everyone should have the same
status and share its revenue together. “In other words, Sarawak’s resources should be shared with Malaya,” he said. Even Kedah’s Menteri Besar reiterated that Sarawak should share her resources equally, including with Kedah. This is Kedah, the PM’s hometown which already has 2 existing airports and was only recently awarded a third airport, Kulim Airport and major projects worth Rm$4.8 billion.

What is the PM’s meaning of equal status and sharing of resources when the construction of the Igan, Rambungan and Batang Lupar bridges are stopped in Sarawak but 28 new bridges have been pledged in Sabah by the Works Minister, MP for Selangau, himself a Sarawakian, a day after Sabah’s MPs agree to support the infamous Article 1(2) bill amendment?

I would like to ask member for Ba’kelalan who is also MP for Selangau:

Have you forgotten your beloved Sarawak? ”Kera Di hutan Di susukan tetapi Anak dipangkuan mati kelaparan”. Our Sarawak CM is right to be angry with Putrajaya’s decisions. Are Sarawakians not important to Malaya? Why are both member for Kota Sentosa  and member for Ba’kelalan keeping quiet about the cut funds for the federal allocation for these three major bridges in Sarawa

Unkept promises

Promises made were not kept and the people are fed up because they have been made to look like proper fools for believing PH would deliver.  I also want to ask member for Kota Sentosa: “So where is the 50% tax refund, the 20% oil royalty and the return of autonomy on health and education that member for Kota Sentosa was shouting about from the rafters in this very DUN before GE14? Ask yourself, how many U-turns of election promises has PH made since the PH government took over? What are the PH members of this house doing about this?”

10% sales tax on petroleum exports

Our honorable Chief Minister, let us raise the sales tax on petroleum exports to 10 % instead of the current 5%! After all, Malaya is saying there is no money for us for our dilapidated schools, no money for our roads and bridges and no money for the projects needed to improve the lives of our rural folks. Putrajaya has money to help Africa with clean water projects but has no money for our rural schools and villagers in Sarawak who are still waiting to receive treated water supply.

Putrajaya has no money for Sarawak but has money to make a USD 900 million deal with Pakistan during the PM’s recent visit to the country. Here, we are investing in a foreign country when we are so short of money ourselves.

Third National Car

The Finance Minister claimed that our country has debts that will affect generations to come. So when it comes to helping Sarawak, they came up with thousands of excuses, mostly laying the blame on the previous government. Yet, he has money to start a third National car project to satisfy one man’s ego but there is no funds to help Sarawak build a hawker center, a Dewan and a school in my Haji Baki
constituency.

The PM’s  statement on the government’s decision to have a third national car project was to enable Malaysians to learn and understand
automotive engineering technology. We do not need to turn the whole country to be knowledgeable on engineering matters.  People are having difficulty putting food on the table; they do not have time to worry about how good a car can run on the road. They do not have the energy to bother.

Economy Down

We should not lie to ourselves anymore. ADUN for Kota Sentosa, who is also a Deputy Minister is trying to paint a rosy picture of the
economy but we are in a bad shape. Look around to see us Sarawakians suffering. After GE 14, things have been taking a turn for the worst. We are experiencing the effects of deflation. The prices of raw materials are still going up even as the Ringgit weakens. The Ringgit fell due to uncertainty of the new PH government.Many are finding life difficult with escalating prices that have been plaguing this country since PH took over.

A Visionary Chief Minister

We will always remember our late Tok Nan for bringing MA63 up for Sarawak. Najib promised to return our rights under MA63.Then GE14
happened. Fortunately, we have a far-sighted, visionary and courageous CM, Abang Jo to carry on Tok Nan’s fight for Sarawak. Our CM has improved the economy of Sarawak on an impressive scale with the establishment of Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (PETROS), Sarawak Development Bank (DBOS) and he has put Sarawak on par with the rest of the digital world of economy with generous state funded allocations of RM1 billion to improve  ICT infrastructure. The resultant effect of all these has seen the successful set  up of Sarawak Multimedia Institute (SMA) and Sarawak Pay within a short few months.

Our CM has also embarked on Rural Transformation projects for more roads, treated water and street lights with power grid and internet
connection. For Chinese independent schools, it was also our CM Abang Jo who came to the rescue with the provision of funding to assist with the annually increasing running costs. Our CM Abang Jo has also followed up on Adenan’s pledge to award a 2,000 hectare piece of land for Chinese education to be sustainable.

Our Chief Minister is definitely on the right track and we should give him 110% support on this. No Sarawak state leaders other than Tok Nan has fought for Sarawak’s rights the way our CM Abang Johari has done. Like Tok Nan, Abang Jo is a wise and kind man who prefers diplomacy over invoking Article 8 of MA63 but everyone can see that Malaya has gone too far and has taken CM Abang Jo’s kindness very much for granted.

Invoking Article 8 of MA63 is a constitutional power that lies within Sarawak’s DUN. We wholeheartedly support CM Abang Jo on his statement to the press that the GPS-led state government could implement policies and shape the future direction of Sarawak without having to rely on the federal government. GPS is an independent party and we are no longer tied-up with parties in Putrajaya. We have indeed learned our lesson well. There should be NO outside interference in the state administration! Only Sarawakians can manage Sarawak!

Datuk Amar Speaker

Arguing over the Constitution takes time and may not necessarily return us our rights in the way expected by us. On the other hand,
Article 8 of MA63 gives us full authority to enforce our rights as enshrined and guaranteed under MA63 without the need to consult Malaya. CM, Abang Jo has already cited the implementation of the 5% sales tax on petroleum products and the required permit (licences and leases) under the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 and Gas Distribution Ordinance 2016 for companies to be involved in the oil and gas industries in Sarawak. We fully expect Malaya to respect MA63 and comply with the laws passed through our DUN.

There is really no excuse for the Federal government not to act in good faith as per MA63. Instead of adhering to the 18 points set out in MA63 to protect Sarawak from the more well developed Malaya, Malaya plundered our resources and left us in a poorly developed state and continues to do so right up to 2019 when we received the smallest slice of the pie in the national budget despite the massive bulk of our contributions by way of our oil and gas.

The Malaysia we would be proud of is one with a multicultural and harmonious society like what we have here in Sarawak where diversity and inclusivity are celebrated with equal opportunities . All this, while giving special assistance to the B40 regardless of ethnicity. I urge our Prime Minister  to review and reform our policy of student intakes at all levels of colleges and universities, including the matriculation programme.

Only with unbiased intake of students and fair opportunities for all can we prevent brain drain. Only when these brains are in Malaysia can we succeed and be competitive globally. Tell us how Sarawakians are going to support parties like PH Sarawak who are in cohort with their Malayan masters and singing to the tune of their Malayan masters. The Sabahan state government may be willing to trade their rights away for 28 bridges but Sarawak will not do that.

Tun Dr. Mahathir in his speech in Bintulu says Sarawak and Sabah do not want independence. I would like to challenge Tun on his statement. Giving the green light to do a Referendum would be one of the wishes of the people on this very subject. A referendum is a peaceful way of finding out the people’s aspiration and wishes. For a properly done referendum, we the people need to be a mature society and to act responsibly. At no time should there be violence of any kind . This is the Sarawak’s ] way. Nobody wants to see Emergency Act in force a second time round because that was how we lost our oil and gas to Malaya.

While we are disappointed with Sabah for supporting PH, let us not be clouded by the fact that this is the oldest political move to divide and weaken regional politics in Sarawak and Sabah and ultimately bringing an end to MA63. A young Sarawakian recently posted this on Facebook ‘In 1963, we were not there to decide. In 1976, we were also not there to decide. In 2019, we want to make it right! I would like to echo his thoughts. In 1963, I was three years old. In 1976, when Malaya downgraded us to one of the thirteen states, I was sixteen years old. In 2019, I am now 59 years old. I not only want to make things right; I WILL make things right for generations that come after me.

As a Sarawakian, I am tired of the absurd flip flop PH policies. I am tired of all the broken promises. I am fed up with Kota Sentosa’s political rhetorics in this DUN. Only GPS can protect Sarawak! Terus jak, Abang Jo. Sarawak is with you. Utamakan Sarawak! Hoo Haa.

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