SIBU (Nov 11): Both Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh and Priscilla Lau, if elected, will put up a Private Member’s Bill in the Parliament calling for a referendum to reclaim Sarawak’s rights.
According to Wong, this is the way they will go about towards restoring the state’s rights.
“Priscilla and myself, we want to reclaim back our (Sarawak) eroded rights. People at large say – hey you, empty talk only. You never tell people how you are going to reclaim back (Sarawak’s rights).
“My answer is – if we are elected (as members of Parliament), we are going to table a bill in the Parliament to call for referendum because all these (eroded) rights, we want to reclaim back all these rights because they belong to the people as a whole.
“Only the people have the final say – why not, we can have a referendum to decide,” he told a press conference here yesterday.
For the record, Wong is Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) candidate for Sibu parliamentary seat, while Lau is the party’s candidate for Lanang parliamentary seat.
Elaborating, Lau said to put a Private Member’s Bill one does not need to be in the government or majority in the opposition.
She explained that the good thing is that since PSB is not aligned to any of these blocks – Barisan Nasional (BN) or opposition – they need not go through the majority.
“We can have a voice because (for example) if you are in BN, you have to ask the majority what you want to put up as a bill – they (BN) get to say what they want to do.
“Sarawak is so small – 31 (parliamentary) seats. And even if they (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) win all 31 seats, they cannot have a voice to say I want to do this because the majority will not agree – the same thing on this side (opposition).
“This is a democratic system but as (PSB is) not attached to both sides, we can actually put up a Private Member’s Bill to say we want this motion…to restore Sarawak’s rights),” she explained.
Wong, who is PSB president, chipped in, saying that the government would have ways to deter their efforts.
“But of course, government has a way to deal with us – to deter because in the Standing Order they say the government business will take priority. Then, they will always put our Private Member’s Bill right at the end.
“In the end, they say no time, we have to do it next time – but we will keep on pushing for it,” he said.