KUCHING: Sarawakians must be united politically in pursuing their struggle to protect and restore Sarawak’s constitutional rights.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said Sarawak had learned a lot during its 55 years working under one umbrella with their counterparts in Malaya.
He revealed that when they (the party leaders) talk about Sarawak within the group of Barsian Nasional (BN) then, the majority would stand.
“Out of the 14 or 13 parties, only four are from Sarawak. So when they say no, what can you do. If the national policy says A, we have to say yes because it is based on consensus.
“This is our problem when we were in BN before. Mahu lawan taukey pun susah (wanting to go against the boss is also difficult).
“Then they said if you are not happy, you can go out from BN. In that particular situation, what do you do? Ikut saja lah (We could only follow).
“That is what we have gone through over the last 55 years,” he said at the United People’s Party (UPP) extraordinary delegates’ conference here today.
Abang Johari lamented that when they had just followed, Sarawak had lost its power and its oil reserves, and even the state’s power company was also almost lost as Sesco was almost taken over in the past.
“That is why when BN lost in the last general elections, I and my fellow friends in the cabinet, we analysed our past experience in BN and think that this the best time for us to leave BN and stand on our own.
“We decided to leave BN because through that process, we have learned,” he said.
Abang Johari said the Sarawak must be independent in certain things, especially as it strives to get back the Sarawak rights that has been eroded.
He said the restoration of Sarawak’s rights had been in the party’s manifesto since the last state election, which was led by the previous Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem.
“We got elected because of our manifesto and we won 72 out of 82. Unfortunately Tok Nan died, but I intend to continue working on getting back our rights.
“We want to make sure that what is promised is being implemented, what is written in constitution must be safeguarded,” he said.