Bawang Assan SUPP chairman takes Baru to task

Senator Robert Lau Hui Yew

KUCHING: Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Bawang Assan chairman Senator Robert Lau has hit out at Parti Sarawak Bersatu’s (PSB) Selangau MP Baru Bian for questioning the significance of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin declaring Sarawak as a “wilayah” (region).

He said both “state” and “territory” were used in the Constitution, and one thing for sure is that Sarawak and Sabah were partners in the formation of Malaysia, unlike the states of Federation of Malaya.

“What is more important than calling Sarawak a state or a territory is the request of real political power being returned to Sarawak and Sabah, which is the one-third of the seats in Parliament to be allocated to these two Borneo states.”

In response to Baru with regard to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) matters, Lau on the issues of the amendment of Article 1 (2) of the Federal Constitution, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) MPs requested two things — first, to add the phrase “in pursuant to MA63” into the Constitution rather than in the explanatory notes.

“Second was to amend the definition of ‘federation’ in Article 160(2) which is now still defined as the Federation of Malaya according to the 1957 agreement.”

He added that SUPP is not satisfied yet on the implementation of MA63, and therefore called on all Sarawak MPs to work as a team irrespective of their political parties.

In another issue, Lau also asked Baru what happened to the 20 percent oil royalty when a leader of Pakatan Harapan (PH) made such a promise to Sarawak if they were to form the government.

“What happened to that promise and why the lie? Another question for Baru to answer is when Petronas sued the Sarawak government on June 4, 2018, of which after three weeks PH helmed the government and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad took over as chairman of Petronas, did he (Baru) raise any objection to that suit as a Cabinet member?

“Wasn’t it PSB that questioned Sarawak government’s ability to charge and collect State Sales Tax on oil and gas produced from Sarawak?

“Now, the Sarawak government managed to collect more than RM3 billion for 2019 and will continue to do so yearly. Why not give credit where it is due?”