I was asked to raise the concern of Sarawakians of the possibility by the GPS government to turn the position of TYT Sarawak a Sultan. Technically, at the moment, Sarawak has no opposition voice in the DUN and with its full control of the Dewan Undangan Negeri, Sarawakians should not discount the possibility of GPS government, abuse its democratic power, to amend the Sarawak Constitution to turn the Head of State of Sarawak be called a Sultan.
The GPS government could always justify this move by claiming that Malaysia is an Islamic State because the majority of Malaysians are muslims and the Head of State, should be a muslim and the most appropriate title for the Head of State is Sultan, not TYT or Governor. Secondly, Sarawak had a Sultan before and he was Sultan Ibrahim Ali Omar Shah or Sultan Tengah.
Since Sultan has to be a muslim, this will not find comfort with 62% Christians and 13% Buddhists in Sarawak. Christians, being the majority in Sarawak had aspired to become the Head of State even before Malaysia came into existence. In fact, Chief Minister Dato Stephen Kalong Ningkan had proposed Jugah anak Barieng to be the Governor but this was rejected by Malaya even before Malaysia was formed. Political maneuvering later on saw Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg bin Abang Sapiee, the father of premier, Abang Johari Tun Openg, became the first governor of Sarawak (please read the books by Prof. Michael Leigh).
If the Head of State of Sarawak be addressed as a Sultan, there would not be any reason for Sabah, Penang and Melaka not to follow suit.
In order to remind Sarawakians that it was the aspiration of our forefathers that Sarawak will practise secularism and that there should not be any official religion in Sarawak after Malaysia was formed.
Therefore, to break the control of DUN by GPS government is to preserve democracy and only with PBK in DUN could we monitor any abuse of democracy in DUN. Therefore, I urge Sarawakians not to take Jepak by-election lightly and I also urge voters to vote for the PBK candidate in this by-election so that our voice could be heard.
VOON LEE SHAN
President, Parti Bumi Kenyalang.
24 October, 2023