Press statement today
By Lim Guan Eng
Sarawak Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing has accused young Umno leaders of causing friction between Putrajaya and the Sarawak state government, by adopting the attitude that Umno are the masters and leaders from Sarawak and Sabah should be subservient to them. This surprising attack against Umno leaders show that the people of Sabah and Sarawak has begun to realise that they are not being accorded full respect but instead are exploited.
James is wrong in blaming Umno young leaders for their lack of understanding of the Malaysia Agreement and how the federation was formed, and suggested that Umno relearn the history of Malaysia and the special autonomy enjoyed by Sabah and Sarawak. Instead, it is Umno’s racist ideology and extremist policies that entitles Umno being masters whilst others must be subservient that has caused friction not just between Putrajaya and Sabah/Sarawak but also between ordinary Malaysians especially non-Malays and non-Muslims.
What is interesting is to see James’ frustration at the patronising behaviour of Umno leaders with his remarks “When they(Umno) talk to us, they make themselves feel as if they are superior while we in Sarawak, are their coolies. Personally, I get irritated with those leaders who do not treat us from Sarawak as equal partners in the administration of this federation. We in Sarawak and Sabah seemed to be like an appendix to West Malaysia.”
However James is correct to call Umno arrogant, saying that issues straining state-federal ties include the Home Ministry’s decision to ban the use of the word “Allah” in Christian publications. This had fanned the anger of the 1.6 million Christians in East Malaysia against Putrajaya as it was seen by people in the two states as breaching the very first point of the terms Sabah and Sarawak drew up when Malaysia was formed.
However even though James need a time span of nearly 30 years of his political life before realising the arrogance of Umno and the master-servant attitude Umno adopts towards Sabah, Sarawak and Malaysians in general, it is still better late than never. DAP offers to fully co-operate with Sabah and Sarawak state government leaders to check the arrogance of Umno by ensuring that Sabah and Sarawak’s status as equal partners in the Malaysian Federation is not reduced to a master-servant relationship like the British colonial masters.
DAP is willing to work together with Sabah and Sarawak state governments to demand an increase in the share of oil and gas royalties from the present 5% to 20% as well as end of the cabotage policy. The time has come to return back natural wealth as well as ensure the immediate and full implementation of the “1Malaysia,1 Price” policy that would give a fair deal to all so that Sabahans and Sarawakians are no longer discriminated by having to pay higher prices than those in Peninsular Malaysia.