Several days ago, the term ‘running dog’ popped into my mind.
‘Running dog’, you might ask?
Oh, no! Not another article about dogs running around with rabies.
Well, not exactly.
You see, many years ago, a Chinese friend of mine used this term in a certain context to refer to someone, but I could only generally remember its meaning.
So, this time, I messaged another Chinese friend asking for the specific meaning.
Being internet savvy, instead of explaining to me, he sent me the following Wikipedia definition:
Running dog is a pejorative term for an unprincipled person who helps or flatters those more powerful and often evil. It is a literal translation of the Chinese pejorative (Chinese: zou gou), meaning a yes-man or lackey, and is derived from the tendency of dogs to follow after humans in hopes of receiving food scraps. In Chinese, no idiomatic expression was more demeaning than the term ‘running dog’.
Anyway, I now know the specific meaning.
OK, now, moving forward, what’s been going on in Malaysian politics over the last few days?
Ah yes! The amendment to the Malaysian constitution, specifically Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution.
Well, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Liew Vui Keong on April 4 tabled the bill to amend Article 1(2).
It stated: “(2) The States of the Federation shall be – (a) Johore, Kedah, Kelantan, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Perlis, Selangor and Terengganu; and (b) Sabah and Sarawak.”
This kicked up a huge storm across the South China Sea in Sabah and Sarawak.
It seems that the proposed amendment does not change our current status.
So why bother with this version of the amendment?
Well, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) underlings here say it is the first step.
First step? How can this be a first step when there is no actual change?
It is like spraying an old car with the same colour as before and then telling everyone it’s a new car.
We Sarawakians must not fall for this kind of fakery.
There was even some misinformation that our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg agreed to this amendment.
Fortunately, he clarified by stating “no approval was given in respect of the amendment in its current form”.
The strong efforts by Sarawak PH to justify this rather useless and meaningless amendment knows no bounds.
Day in and day out, they keep peddling their ‘wares’ to Sarawakians in an effort to please their PH overlords in Malaya.
To continue arguing that the proposed amendment provides equal status to Sabah and Sarawak is trying to defend the indefensible.
Is it so important to receive some ‘scraps’ from Malaya that they have abandoned the very people who have trusted and voted for them?
By the way, Liew, who tabled the amendment, just lost his Ketua Bahagian post in Parti Warisan Sabah Bahagian Batu Sapi.
Perhaps the division delegates were not happy with his proposed amendment and saw it as a betrayal.
But it seems these persons who have so strongly advocated Sarawak’s autonomy in videos after videos in the social media have now gone against Sarawakians’ repeated calls for our rights under MA63.
These are some famous words uttered before the 14th general election.
“Sabah and Sarawak granted full autonomy in line with Malaysia Agreement 1963 … full autonomy in education and healthcare … 20 per cent oil royalty … 50 per cent of all tax receipts … returned to respective states” lured some to vote for Sarawak PH.
After the election, they are not being repeated let alone implemented.
Perhaps, they are too eagerly waiting for their ‘scraps’.
Either that or perhaps they have no say, no leverage and no influence in Malaya yet, so they keep singing the same tune in order to be noticed.
In recent years, Sarawak BN before being dissolved for all their weakness and faults, did speak up on these matters and also lobbied hard for rights under MA63.
Having said that, Sarawak should also very clearly specify the amendments that we expect.
Please draft them, and publish them for all Sarawakians to read and digest.
Currently, there seem to be a lot of finger pointing that the proposed amendment is no good.
So, what do we propose in its place?
Normally, in a workplace, if an employee keeps criticising the work of others but offers no alternatives or solutions would also be deemed useless.
So, it is of no use just casting stones and criticising proposed changes but not clearly stating what the exact and expected amendments that should be made.
Fortunately, I did come across one proposal for amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution by a senior lawyer, Robert Lau Hui Yew.
His proposal is “(2) The States of the Federation shall consist of: (a) the Federation of Malaya (which consist of the eleven states in the Federation of Malaya); (b) the State of Sarawak; and (c) the State of Sabah. These three States shall form the Federation of Malaysia.”
The point here is not whether this is acceptable or not, but that it was made. At least it is a starting point.
Similarly, there have been calls for the definition of the term ‘Federation’ under Article 160(2) to be changed.
Datuk Gerawat Gala, the Deputy Speaker of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly, has proposed that the definition of Federation in Article 160(2) should refer to the ‘Malaysia Agreement, 1963’ and not Federation of Malaya Agreement, 1957.
These and any many other articles and laws that negatively impact on Sabah and Sarawak and are in defiance of MA63 or the spirit of the formation of the Federation of Malaysia should be redrafted into one document.
Thereafter, the draft proposals should be published for all to comment on and subsequently deliberated and adopted at both the Sabah and Sarawak assemblies.
This way at least we have a benchmark to compare against the federal proposals or lack of proposals.
All said and done, yes, it has been a hectic past few days for many on these matters. I am sure the drama will continue to unfold.
Going back to the term ‘running dog’, I now know the meaning; it’s just that I can’t remember why the term popped into my mind before I started writing.
My memory! It’s just not what it used to be.
I was at a welfare-based meeting recently where Tan Sri Dr George Chan said that a type of Vitamin B is good for the memory. I will have to ask him again which Vitamin B it was.
Perhaps the PH team can also consume it to remember their promises.
Anyway, Sarawakians, one thing you must remember and never forget is to keep the interest of ‘Sarawak First’ always.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the New Sarawak Tribune.