Patriotism demands of us sustained sacrifice.

Chiang Kai-shek, Chinese nationalist politician, revolutionary and military leader

Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) has quite a battle shaping up, but the issues against Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s government aren’t as insurmountable as those faced by Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud back in the 80s, which culminated in the infamous Ming Court Affair of 1987.

Sarawak had 48 seats that time and Taib was forced to call for a snap election when 27 state assemblymen teamed up with retired governor Tun Abdul Rahman Ya’kub to demand for the chief minister’s resignation.

That in a nutshell was the Ming Court Affair political crisis and it was a close call for Taib. The state government very nearly changed hands, and the party that played a major part in this episode of Sarawak’s political history was Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS), now defunct.

PBDS had a lot of issues going for it, all of them Dayak-centric. Interestingly, not a few non-Dayaks felt for these issues and believed Dayaks deserved more than the state government then was giving them. The overriding sentiment then was Dayak nationalism, or Dayakism for short, which referred to such issues as Dayaks being sidelined by Malay/Melanau and Chinese political elites, and the disrespect by the state government for native laws by logging and plantation policies.

But Taib did not give in to the demand for him to step down by the 27 assemblymen; instead he called for a snap election, which his coalition won 28 to PBDS’ 15 and Ya’kub’s Permas 5.

The Ming Court affair and the subsequent snap election of 1987 are not likely to happen in Sarawak, not in the near future, why, because the issues aren’t there anymore.

Issues that basically mean developing rural areas ― where the Dayaks are mostly found ― son that they are at par with the urban and sub-urban areas, have all been addressed.

New approaches to agriculture via agencies like Highlands Agriculture Development, Ulu Rajang Development Agency and Northern Region Development Agency will change Sarawak’s rural scene even as the GPS government continues to build roads and bridges, and connect rural communities to the state’s main power and water supply grids.

The amendment to the State Land Code has identified what belongs to the natives and what belongs to the state. It has also solved the issues of pulau galau and pemakai menoa. What remains to be done is to explain to the people in clear and unambiguous terms the laws and the development policies. Those who still doubt GPS today are those who have yet to fully understand what is in store for them.

GPS has to do more in socialising with the people and in getting its message of “no one will be left behind” across in its journey towards a high income status by 2030.

Opposition PSB will be hard-pressed for issues to exploit, especially when it is seen to have not done anything to show that it is capable of acting on its proclamations: [PSB will not adopt a confrontational stand but “will arm ourselves with facts, figures and data and present our stand steadfastly to the federal government stating our legitimate rights and interests of the people of Sarawak”.

“We will convince them that building of a stable, progressive and united Malaysian society can only be done on the basis of equality, justice and mutual respect among all three component territories.’

He (PSB president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh) said PSB approach is that of quiet and patient negotiation, fully aware of the pride and sensitivities of the component territories.]

PSB did nothing when Malayan Tan Sri Kamal Salih was appointed chairman of Unimas board of directors. It has yet to state clearly its stand on the issue of MPKKP.

In fact, PSB has been extraordinarily quiet on many issues involving state-federal relationship, so what is it that PSB wants to do that GPS has not done in defence of the state rights?

PSB is all rhetoric; GPS is doing the necessary.

Yes, GPS’ best weapon into PRN12 will be defending the state rights that are continuously being threatened by a federalism that favours usurping the powers of the state government by the central government.

The PH federal government wants to rule Sarawak because for as long as Sarawak is under GPS, its resources, whether natural or otherwise, will not become a ‘shared prosperity’ of Malaya and Malayans.

Malayans want to rule over Sarawakians so that we will forever be the inferior Malaysians that they want us to be. They don’t want us to be equal Malaysians before the Constitution. They can’t foresee giving Sarawak the proportionate number of parliamentary seats as one of three makers of Malaysia.

The fight to defend all this is what makes GPS a necessity in the continued existence of Sarawak and Sarawakians as we know them to be.

So let’s tell it to all right-minded Sarawakians, do away with GPS we will lose everything; give GPS the mandate, Sarawakians will not be proud for being Sarawakians for nothing.