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March 19, 2010

Trails of Broken promises

Filed under: Human Rights — Pengayau @ 2:11 am
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The British Members of Parliament have expressed their sympathies and concerns over the way Sarawakians and Sabahans have been treated in Malaysia after they have heard allegations and complaints from Sabah and Sarawak delegations.

“They are going to look into our allegations and complaints,” said Nicholas Bawin, leader of Sarawak delegation.

According to Bawin, a member of the British Parliamentary Select Committees on Human Rights Virendra Sharma promised the Sabah and Sarawak delegations that the British MPs will look into the allegations.

“I will look into the allegations and bring them to a higher level,” Sharma, who is the Labour MP for Ealing, told Bawin and Daniel John Jambun of Sabah.

Bawin informed Members of the House of Commons that Sarawak agreed to join Sabah, Malaya and Singapore to the establishment of the Federation of Malaysia as equal partners when the federation was formed on 16 September 1963.

“We agreed because of the terms and conditions that were promised us,” said Bawin, when he presented a memorandum to the Commons on 9 March.

He said: “These terms and conditions which had been recorded by the Cobbold Commission Report 1962 and the Inter-Governmental Committee, 1962 had been stipulated in the 18-point Malaysia Agreement for Sarawak.

“These terms and conditions have also been included in the Federal Constitution to ensure such terms and conditions are entrenched in the Laws of the Nation.

“However, sad to say, such important promises and aspirations are forgotten when Malaysia began to grow up as a nation. Malaya became the most beneficial party to the Malaysia Agreement, while Sabah and Sarawak only received hand-outs from Kuala Lumpur, the Federal Government,” he said.

“What remains are trails of broken promises,” said Bawin, former president of Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU), pointing out that Malaya being the main party behind the merger and formation of Malaysia has failed to honour its promises.

“When Sabah and Sarawak agreed to set up Malaysia, they joined as equal partners with Malaya. However, due to constitutional amendment made to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution, the position of Sabah and Sarawak has been relegated to a mere one of the 13 States of Malaysia,” he added.

On Language, Bawin said that the rigid enforcement and usage of the Malay language in schools and institutions of higher learning has invariably contributed to the decline in the standard of education in Malaysia.

“This has caused our children to suffer,” he said.

Referring to Borneonisation of the civil service, he said that the reverse process of domination by Malayan officers has taken place. Almost all top civil service are dominated by Malayan officers down to the rank and file.

He went to say that the discriminatory approach, when issuing identity cards to Sarawakians particularly the natives, has caused misery and untold deprivations to the natives, including the deprivations to their rights as citizens.

He said the special positions of the natives of Sarawak must be safeguarded especially on land ownership, fair quota in civil services including armed forces and police personnel, fair access to scholarship and education and training, and fair access to licences and permits to trade and business.

“These special positions of the natives of Sarawak are almost forgotten. The natives have been systematically deprived of the ownership to their native customary rights lands. Now the government has stopped issuing land titles to native customary rights lands in preference to government driven and controlled land development schemes.

“Large areas of native customary rights lands have also been taken and given to big corporations to be developed into oil palm and tree planting plantations,” he said.

Bawin alleged:

“The quota for the employment of natives in the service no longer applies in view of the flooding of civil service with Malayan officers as well as preference only to certain tribal groups.

“The giving of scholarships and educational grants are also very discriminatory. Children of native people are not given their dues when it comes to the award of scholarship and educational grants.

“The giving of licences and permits to trade and business is also very discriminatory. It is so difficult for natives of Sarawak to get licences and permits. On the other hand, certain groups get them easily. This has encouraged the rise of corruption and bribery.”

Talking of constitutional safeguards, Bawin said that due to the political dominance of Malayan parties in Malaysia, the constitutional safeguards for Sarawak have slowly been removed. The federal system of government is slowly diminishing and Malaysia is moving towards a unitary state. In the process, Sarawak is losing many of its state rights.

“After the withdrawal of Singapore from Malaysian entity, Sarawak and Sabah lost out to Malaya because the quota in Parliament allocated to Singapore was taken up mostly by Malaya. This has caused imbalance in power which tilted towards Malaya. This also caused domination of Parliament by Malaya.

“The delineation of the parliamentary and state constituencies is also discriminatory to the natives of Sarawak. Although the Dayaks natives of Sarawak form about 50% of the State population, it is not reflected in the number of the constituencies, both parliament and stake allocated to them,” he said.

Bawin called on the British Members of Parliament to help Sarawak to relook into the Malaysia Agreement as Sarawak was once the British colony.- The Broken Shield

Source: www.thebrokenshield.blogspot.com

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