Thursday, May 30, 2013
Sarawak Sovereignty Movement demands full
A movement, rumoured to be backed by the powerful in Sarawak, is
demanding for full autonomy in the state based on the 18-point Malaysia
KOTA KINABALU: A new civil movement from Sarawak, calling
themselves Sarawak Sovereignty Movement (SSM), is demanding full autonomy for
The movement which was launched in April 2013, posted its
schedule of demands for autonomy on its website and Facebook account, backing
its claims with details of Sarawak’s history.
According to SSM secretary,
Lina Soo, full autonomy sums up all the terms and conditions for Sarawak (and
for Sabah too) agreeing to form Malaysia with three other independent countries
as equal partners being Malaya, Singapore and North Borneo (Sabah) in
“Brunei in its wisdom decided not to follow the crowd because
Malaya did not agree to accord it ‘equal partnership’ status,” said
Singapore, she said pulled out in 1965 also after failed to to get
federal to accept it as an equal partner.
“The original Malaysia concept
of five countries (including Brunei) had dwindled into three countries in
“The concept was dead. The legitimacy of Malaysia is therefore
in doubt,” she said in a statement to FMT here.
According to Soo,
Sarawak’s autonomous status was spelt out clearly in the 18 Points Agreement
“These were safeguards for Sarawak having given up its
independence and agreeing to form Malaysia.
“Sarawak reserved its
sovereign right to control its own immigration, finance and resources and
requirement for ‘Borneonisation’ among other important conditions Sarawak’s
sovereignty was recognized- at least on paper,” she reminded.
the Malaysian federal government’s failure to honour the terms of the Malaysia
Agreement for the past 50 years is evidenced by the pillage of their resources
and centralisation of control over the two states/countries.
Lumpur control and exploitation of Sarawak oil has seen very little oil money
flowing back to Sarawak but seen as being siphoned to develop
“With the growing awareness of Sarawak’s diminished and
disadvantaged position after giving up its independence to form Malaysia, a new
generation of Sarawakians have begun agitating for Sarawak independence rights,”
‘Deviations invite trouble’
SSM, she said, is of the
opinion that the Malayan government is contented that Sarawak and Sabah freely
agreed to form Malaysia and they are forever a part of Malaysia.
many in the two countries now are asking if Sarawak and Sabah freely made such a
decision, then they are free to leave Malaysia like Singapore,” she
SSM which is helmed by Morshidi Abdul Rahman, was first given
publicity in Sarawak newspapers last month but hardly mentioned in other
He reportedly asserted that Sarawak is a sovereign nation – a
territorial and constitutional entity – that has power to vote on its own laws,
collect taxes and the right to own its natural resources.
leader from ruling Sarawak Barisan Nasional has warned Sarawakians not to
deviate from the original concept of Malaysia.
Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku
Jaafar, who was also a former parliament deputy speaker, when asked for his
opinion on SSM, said Sarawakians must refrain from divisive politics.
have our constitution – the supreme law of the nation, with which act and work.
Do not stray from original concept of the Federation…,” Wan Junaidi said, adding
that “deviations invite troubles”.
His double-edged statement has lent
credence to certain local speculations that SSM is backed by “the powerful” in
Sarawak who also seek to strengthen its autonomy, not to fall prey to a scheming
central power that seeks to weaken Malaysia’s largest state, like it did to
Sabah and Sarawak are regarded to be nations-within-a nation as
both have autonomous rights granted to them in laws, written in pre-Malaysia
conditions and also in other treaties and documents including in the Federal and
The clamour for full autonomy in both Borneon states
had recently increased due to the high awareness of disparity in income and
development between them and the 11 Peninsular states which they accused of
“stealing” the states’ rich for Malaya’s own exploitation.
both Sabah and Sarawak, while endowed naturally to be Malaysia’s richest, have
ended at the bottom-end of Malaysia’s poorest states, 50 years after agreeing to
form a Federation with Malaya.