Netizens assert that Sarawak and Sabah are equal partners

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    KUCHING: The warning by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak against talk of secession has spawned assertions that Sarawak should be taken as an equal partner in the formation of Federation of Malaysia instead of being one of the 13 states.

    In response to the front page story of The Borneo Post ‘Pledge to safeguard sovereignty’, netizens in Sarawak and Sabah argued that the 18-point agreement signed to safeguard the interest of Sarawak had not been honoured.

    A borneopostonline reader Iskandar Zulbryner brought up the 18-point Agreement, the London Agreement and the Inter-Governmental Reports, asserting that safeguards of the interests of Sarawak and Sabah in these agreements had not been fulfilled by the federal government.

    He stressed that Sarawak was not one of the 13 states in Malaysia but an equal partner with Sabah and the then Federation of Malaya in the nation of Malaysia. And as an equal partner, interests of Sarawakians must be safeguarded and the covenants made must be honoured and fulfilled.

    Quoting Points 2, 8, 12 and 15, he argued that education must return to be under Sarawak as Sarawakians “cannot continue to subject their children to the eroding quality of the Malaysian education system and the declining standard of English in schools”.

    Iskandar also condemned the situation where Sarawakians’ religious freedom had been undermined by extremists, racist and religious bigots in Peninsular Malaysia.

    He said Sarawak natives have been confronted with divisive issues such as Malay supremacy political ideology and the dispute over use of the word ‘Allah’ in churches apart from the fact that the federal government had failed to honour ‘Borneonisation’ of the civil service in Sarawak.

    “There are enough qualified Sarawak natives to fill government positions so as to balance the racial composition within the civil service but the lack of meritocracy for recruitment and promotion in the civil service has marginalised the indigenous people of Sarawak.”

    On native land issue, he said the federal government had not done enough to safeguard Dayak land rights as stated in the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous People.

    Describing the state’s trunk road as ‘kampung roads’ and rural development as ‘poor’, he said the imbalance of infrastructure development between Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia has been widening. Another netizen Lynn Cheang responded that Najib had not been listening hard enough to Sarawakians. To her, not mentioning the anniversary year of independence from the British which Najib promised was not enough.

    She asserted that the 18-point Agreement (or 20-point Agreement for Sabah) should be honoured and points 1,2,8, 11 and 15 should be honoured immediately.

    Source: Borneo Post Online