Monday, May 27

Sarawak autonomy: Look into historical facts instead of following trend


Teng speaks at the forum. – Photo by Chai Boon Tart


KUCHING: Sarawakians should dig deeper into historical facts instead of following the trend when it comes to pursuing Sarawak’s autonomy.

This advice came from Sarawak Cultural Research Society chairman Datuk David Teng, who encouraged people to do research on the history of both Sarawak and Malaysia to better understand the subject matter.

He said it does not help Sarawak achieve its agenda when people merely follow what their leaders say or worse just taking in hearsay information.

“If and when our people acquire certain extent of knowledge on the history of Sarawak and the formation of Malaysia, there is no way that they can be easily influenced by any opinion,” he said at a forum Friday night.

Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Batu Lintang branch organised the forum themed ‘Getting to the bottom of the so-called Sarawak’s autonomy’ at the branch’s office here.

Teng, who is former Repok assemblyman and former assistant minister, wanted Sarawakians to ponder whether their leaders or Sarawak government had failed to play their role in the process of fighting for Sarawak’s autonomy.

He said it would be intriguing to figure out whether the federal government had applied certain force to impede Sarawak’s attempt to regain its powers that had been eroded over the years.

“Sarawak and federal government do not offer a clear-cut explanation on our history. This is unfair to many parties and individuals.

“If the federal government did commit any wrongdoings back then, Sarawak would be equally to blame,” he added.

Teng observed that so many individuals are just getting used to using ‘autonomy’ as a slogan rather than being able to narrate the process of how Malaysia was formed.

He believed that these quarters are also incapable of pointing out the powers that Sarawak should be exercising as well as the limits on such powers.

To address the issue, he said they must obtain a clearer picture on what State List and Special Safeguards are.

He added that it all boiled down to the political will of Sarawak to recover its rights that had been eroded in the last couple of decades.