Strike when the iron is hot - one year after PH took over, is PH sincere to Sarawak? Has it steered Malaysia on the path of moderation?
The new government of PH led by Tun Dr Mahathir did set out by striking when the iron is hot.
From Sarawak point of view, the Tun Mahathir 2.0, struck immediately against Sarawak when one month after coming into power, Petronas sued Sarawak Government asking the court to basically seize our oil and our right to impose sales tax under our State law, Oil Mining Ordinance 1958.
The law suit was filed one month taking office! What a start. That was really striking when the iron was hot. Except for the wrong purpose.
This action was blatantly opposite to what PH promised in its Manifesto - Buku Harapan. Right at the outset in the 5 pillars it promised returning Sarawak and Sabah to the status accorded in Malaysia Agreement 1963.
Under Pillar 4 Promise 41:
“Our Government will
Increase petroleum royalty to Sabah and Sarawak to 20 per cent or equivalent. ..
The 1974 Petroleum Development Act will be scrutinized to review Petronas, monopoly in national gas and oil products, especially from Sabah and Sarawak. This is to enable Sabah and Sarawak to set up their own oil and gas companies, and not limiting their role as a contractor to Petronas only. “
They could also push for its election manifesto of making Malaysia a progressive nation. Higher Education for all those who qualify is progressive. Treating your partner equally if fair and progressive. Keeping your promises on major issues are honorable. That will win the trust and support from the people
Unfortunately the goodwill from GE 14 was not used for the above. Instead there are U- turns and adopting the same practices of BN that they were so critical of and had failed the country.
Tun M came back second time as PM was with much good will. Every decent Malaysian hope that version 2.0 was God’s gift to him and Malaysia for him to redeem the missed opportunity and misdeed during his 22 years as PM. Sadly it looks like he is still interested in his pet policies and issues such as the
national car project and the quarrel with Singapore over water.
At the meantime Tun M continued to treat Sarawak as cash cow and at the same time ignoring the plight of Sarawak. (See Buku Harapan Promises 40 & 41) He has appointed only one cabinet member from Sarawak and have not made an official visit to Sarawak. The only two visits he made ( I stand to be corrected) was to attend a wedding of a friend in Kuching and to bring Bersatu to Sarawak in Bintulu).
A good start is half the job done. PH government has a poor start. Hopefully they can make full use of the next 4 years. Much time and goodwill has been wasted.
Robert Lau Hui Yew