More discussions on regionalism, federalism proposed


KUCHING: The Kuching Democratic Action Party Socialist Youth (DAPSY) chief has called for more discussions on the concepts of regionalism and federalism in view of the current political landscape.

In making the call in a statement yesterday, Michael Kong explained that regionalism and federalism were two opposite ideas.

“Regionalist think that only a local party will fight for the benefit of Sarawak whereas, nationalists believe in a national party and its potential in federal politics.

“Undeniably, regionalists have the upper hand in this debate. At the same time, that does not mean the current version of regionalism is flawless,” he said.

Kong pointed out that on the eve of the establishment of Malaysia, Sarawakians were divided into three factions, namely, those who agreed with the formation of Malaysia, those who believed that certain safeguards should be provided to protect Sarawakians and those who disagreed with the formation of Malaysia.

“During the local election, the Sarawak Alliance, a pro Malaysia political alliance, won narrowly against Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) which fought for independence.

“Therefore, the result showed that Sarawakians then leaned toward the formation of Malaysia instead of independence,” he said, adding that it was the reason why regionalism went to sleep for 45 years until 2008.

Kong said in 2008, political tsunamis shook the political landscape of the entire federation. It was then that the fixed deposit of Barisan National, Sarawak and Sabah, became important.

Meanwhile, he shared that the late chief minister Pehin Seri Adenan Satem came up with the idea of Sarawak Value, a value where we accept, tolerate and respect people, to not be clouded by xenophobia that is cloaked with regionalism.

“We want a harmonious, inclusive, mutually respected society and people in such a society are not supposed to hate a person merely because of his birthplace or origin,” he said before calling on all Sarawakians to defend the true Sarawak Value.

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