The battle for the hearts and minds of Sarawakians is picking up pace.
The 12th election for the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly has to be held before Sept 7, 2021.
There are approximately 1.2 million voters who hold the future of Sarawak in their hands.
It is important that all Sarawakians carry on moving forward in our quest to acquire our Sarawak rights as pledged in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and envisioned in the many supporting documents and speeches prior to the formation of Malaysia.
In order to achieve this, every single Sarawakian needs to commit himself or herself to this goal.
Such a commitment must come from all of us, regardless of the political divide we might associate ourselves with.
It is only with this kind of single-minded focus and approach that we can achieve our full autonomy and deserved rights.
We all know in politics, there are people who say things to get votes, but actually, do not have the heartfelt and deep commitment to keeping those promises.
On the other hand, there are those who are actually passionate and fully believe in what they say. These are the ones who will work hard towards the achievement of their promises no matter what the obstacles are.
I hope the voters nowadays are discerning enough to identify politicians who customise their messages to win votes, but do not actually believe in what they say or care too much about the implementation of ideology or policies.
For too long we have had politicians who either willingly or through pressure have bowed to the will of Malaya, resulting in Sarawak being stripped of its rightful revenues and being virtually discarded.
This is the reason we find ourselves in the current scenario.
Of course, many justifications have been given as to why they bowed to the will of Malaya, some valid and some are pure nonsense.
The important point now is that from this point forward everyone needs to work towards the common goal of Sarawak rights without fear.
In addition to this, a common path must be taken towards this common goal.
Currently, PH Sarawak has criticised GPS from abstaining to vote for an amendment to Article 1 (2) of the Federal Constitution that supposedly places Sarawak and Sabah on par with Malaya as a partner in the federation.
Here on the face of it, the goal is the same but the path is not.
I do think the Constitution needs to be amended as a ‘package’ rather than on a piecemeal basis. Let’s get it over and done with so we can all move on.
As part of developing the mindset of ensuring Sarawak rights, nothing should be done to undermine current Sarawak ordinances and our Sarawak Legislative Assembly (SLA).
To-date the authority of the SLA has been challenged in court recently and also more statements have been made indicating further challenges.
As Sarawakians we need to be mindful that any Act which undermines the sovereignty of the SLA does not weaken it, thereby eroding more of our rights.
We have all at one time or another come across the term ‘Trojan Horse’ from Greek mythology, which basically means where someone seeks to subvert from within usually by deceptive means.
We cannot have anyone claiming in the SLA and many other platforms that they are championing Sarawak but in fact, their actions do not match their words.
There is too much at stake currently and such deceptive posturing must be done away with. There must be no Trojan Horses in Sarawak.
There have been many well-documented promises made to uplift Sarawak and ensure its rightful place as a partner.
However, the actions and incessant drive to instead undermine its rights is indeed shocking.
The degree to which these Trojan Horses seek to curry favour with Malayan powers that be has gone beyond even all norms of sycophantic behaviour practised in politics.
This is not just boot licking but probably heavy-duty boot sucking.
It is important to remember the people who voted for you, their expectations and aspirations for Sarawak.
Don’t replace these hopes and aspirations with the desire of those who hope to devour Sarawak.
Sarawakians at all levels need to inculcate in themselves a need to protect Sarawak. This must be ingrained into our psyche and become part of our DNA.
Many of us have become at least partly familiar with MA63 and the rights due to us. We need to consistently work towards achieving all that was promised.
There is currently a high-level MA63 steering committee on the rights of Sabah and Sarawak chaired by the Prime Minister himself.
There is a term ‘Death by Committee’ which signifies the slow, painful death of an objective due to its assignment to a committee, whereby the objective is never achieved because of squabbling, apathy, or a lack of individual accountability among the members.
Let’s hope this does not happen with this high-level committee and that it delivers.
Ultimately, no matter what the outcome, Sarawakians need to enlighten themselves as to who the people are who can best take care of Sarawak and its future.
The choice is yours to make, it is either Sarawak First (autonomy under MA63) or Sarawak Last (fulfilling the desire of Malaya for Sarawak to be a colony of Federation of Malaya)
You as voters have this democratic right to determine the direction we should take.
Having a Protect Sarawak DNA in you will help you make the right choice.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the New Sarawak Tribune.