‘Sarawak not KL colony’

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS - BY KONG SEE HOH

SARAWAK Chief Min­is­ter Tan Sri Ade­nan Satem says Sarawakians do not want the state to be re­garded as “Kuala Lumpur’s colony”.

He said he will de­fend and re­claim the rights granted to the state un­der the Malaysia Agree­ment, Sin Chew Daily re­ported yes­ter­day.

He pointed out that the thump­ing vic­tory se­cured by Barisan Na­sional (BN) in the last state polls was in­cred­i­ble as it was be­yond his ex­pec­ta­tions.

He said although he knew BN would win, he did not ex­pect the coali­tion to achieve such a hand­some vic­tory.

“Per­haps be­cause I am hand­some. (I am) just jok­ing,” Ade­nan, who is known for his hu­mour, said in jest dur­ing a gath­er­ing with Sarawakians liv­ing in Penin­su­lar Malaysia, in Kuala Lumpur on Satur­day.

He at­trib­uted the over­whelm­ing win to the peo­ple’s greater aware­ness and their be­lief that Sarawak BN can get the best deal for Sarawakians from the fed­eral gov­ern­ment and pro­tect the state’s rights, par­tic­u­larly on its au­ton­omy on cer­tain mat­ters.

“We (Sarawak BN) have been stress­ing that Sarawak is not Kuala Lumpur’s colony.”

Ade­nan em­pha­sised that the Malaysia Agree­ment is an in­ter­na­tion­ally-recog­nised pact and can­not be changed at any­one’s whims.

He said the agree­ment stip­u­lated the spe­cial priv­i­leges and rights for Sarawak when it formed Malaysia with the Fed­er­a­tion of Malaya, North Bor­neo (now Sabah) and Sin­ga­pore.

“If not for these priv­i­leges and rights and if the peo­ple of Sarawak had ob­jected to the agree­ment, we would not have Malaysia as it is to­day,” he said.

Ade­nan said af­ter more than 50 years, some lead­ers may have for­got­ten the spe­cial rights and priv­i­leges of Sarawak in the agree­ment, re­sult­ing in some of them be­ing taken away by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment.

He said the state gov­ern­ment had de­clared July 22 as Sarawak In­de­pen­dence Day to show its de­ter­mi­na­tion to fight for its rights.

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