KUCHING: Sarawakians must be united politically in pursuing their struggle to protect Sarawak’s constitutional rights.
In making this point, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said that Sarawak had learned a lot during its 55 years working under one roof with their counterparts in Malaya.
He revealed that when they (the party leaders) talked about Sarawak within the group of Barisan Nasional (BN) then, the majority would stand.
“Out of the 14 or 13 parties, only four are from Sarawak. So when they say no, what can you do. If the national policy says A, we have to say yes because it is based on consensus.
“This is our problem when we were in BN before. Mahu lawan taukey pun susah (want to go against the boss is also difficult). Then they said if you are not happy, you can go out from BN. In that particular situation, what do you do? Ikut saja lah (Just follow only).
“That is what we have gone through over the last 55 years,” he said at the United People’s Party (UPP) extraordinary delegates’ conference here yesterday.
Abang Johari lamented that when they just followed, Sarawak lost its power and its oil.
He said even the state’s power company (Sesco) was also almost lost or taken over.
“That is why when BN lost in the last general elections, I and my fellow friends in the cabinet, we analysed our past experience in BN and think that this is the best time for us to leave BN and stand on our own.
“We decided to leave BN because we learn through that process, we have learned,” he said.
Abang Johari said that Sarawak must be independent in certain matters, especially as it strives to get back the Sarawak rights that had been eroded.
He said getting back these rights was in their (Sarawak BN) manifesto during the last state election, which was led by the previous Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem.
Now, he continued, the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) manifesto is the manifesto even though it is not the Bible, it is a promise.
“We got elected because of our manifesto and we won 72 out of 82. Unfortunately Tok Nan died, but I continue to get back our rights.
“We want to make sure that what is promised is being implemented, what is written in constitution must be safeguarded,” he stressed.
UPP president Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh, Deputy President Datuk Dr Jerip Susil, secretary general George Lo and Youth chief Johnichal Rayong Ngipa were also present.