Saturday, September 23

Masing: Sarawakians the losers if DUN falls into PH hands


Masing (fifth left) and PRS leaders pour a champagne tower to toast the party’s 15th anniversary. — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing believes that Sarawakians will be on the losing end if Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) loses to Pakatan Harapan (PH) in the coming state election.

The deputy chief minister said the GPS-controlled State Legislative Assembly (DUN) is currently the only thing preventing unfavourable laws passed in Parliament from taking effect in the state, such as the Territorial Sea Act 2012.

“Therefore, it is of vital importance that GPS controls our DUN. We cannot trust lawmakers associated with the PH government to safeguard Sarawak’s interest. Their general election manifestos (sic) are good examples of what these guys are capable, or incapable, of doing.

“So whatever our differences, we (Sarawakians) must put them aside. When the PRN12 (12th state election) comes, GPS must win, and win at all cost,” Masing said in his speech during PRS’ 15th anniversary dinner held here last night.

He also opined that in view of the current political scenario, MPs from Peninsular Malaysia would have no qualms amending the laws over Sarawak’s immigration autonomy in Parliament.

“(Housing and Local Government Minister) YB Zuraida Kamaruddin, a minister in the PH government, stated in no uncertain terms that if PH takes over Sarawak, they will pass the laws in Parliament to amend our immigration autonomy. Malayans can come in without passport. If that happens, we will be under the onslaught of Malayans coming to our shores.

“It is not only Zuraida who wants it to happen, but our Sarawak PH MPs also agree with her. Because of their need to kowtow to their bosses in Malaya, our Sarawak PH MPs keep very silent on the issue of the rights of Sarawak,” he added.

Masing also cautioned that Sabah and Sarawak would be at the mercy of Peninsular Malaysia if the latter passed laws unfavourable to the Bornean states, due to Peninsular Malaysia having more than the two-thirds of parliamentary seats required to do so.

“There are 222 members of Parliament. Sarawak has 31 MPs, Sabah has 25 MPs and Peninsular Malaysia has 166 MPs. In order for Parliament to pass the laws, it requires two-thirds of our MPs, which is 148 MPs.

“Please be reminded that Malaya has 166 MPs; they have more than required to pass or amend any laws of this country.”

He remarked that even if all the MPs from Borneo were to band together to oppose any such move, it would be an exercise in futility for the simple fact that they lack the required numbers.

“Malayan MPs can pass any laws without Sabah and Sarawak’s support if all Malayan-based parties get together for their common interest,” Masing said, pointing again to the Territorial Sea Act 2012 as one such example.

Fortunately, he added, Sarawak’s forefathers had foreseen such issues and passed other laws to safeguard Sarawak’s interests.

“The laws passed more than half a century ago will ensure, among others, that although Parliament may pass the laws reducing the size of our territory, but without the consent of our DUN, that law will be null and void.

“Thus the Territorial Sea Act passed by Parliament in 2012 is null and void as far as Sarawak is concerned. We still keep our oil and gas,” he said.