Lanang MP decries accusation of betrayal against Sarawakians


Alice Lau

SIBU: Lanang MP Alice Lau says she has been unfairly accused of betraying Sarawakians for raising the question on the clamour for Sarawak’s secession from Malaysia by some groups during the parliamentary sitting last week.

Speaking to reporters here upon returning from the sitting yesterday, Lau clarified that she was merely raising a question as a topic of discussion and pointed out that it was not the first time the topic was raised in Parliament.

She said those who attacked her were scared to talk about it, adding that she raised the question not to betray Sarawakians but because they had the right to know about the legal limits on calls for secession.

The accusation, she believed, was the attackers’ means to score political mileage from an appropriate question on Sarawak’s rights.

Lau noted that it was ironic that Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) was in the forefront in levelling the attacks against her as the party was a former member of the Barisan Nasional (BN), which stripped Sarawak of many of its rights when it was in power.

“It was they (SUPP) who were in the same boat with the Barisan Nasional when Sarawak rights were stripped. They are now shifting blame.”

She said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had never said he would arrest those who called for secession – he just said he did not want national security to be threatened.

“The people were once suffering when Sarawak was threatened by communism. Our elders still remember the hardship. It had caused the villagers to be uprooted from their homes.”

Lau urged the people to learn from this past and be rational in their call for secession.

Last week, Dr Mahathir told Parliament that action would be taken under the Sedition Act against those who jeopardised public order and security.

He said this was in line with the government’s policy to promote freedom of speech as enshrined in Item 1 of Article 10 in the Federal Constitution.

Dr Mahathir said this in a written reply to Lau after she asked on action against those calling for Sarawak’s secession.