Speakers' Corner

Occasional contributions from readers, which do not necessarily reflect the views of Sarawak Report but may be published at the discretion of the site


“There is a glaring emission from the Order Paper for the upcoming Parliament sitting — debating the extension of Sarawak’s Emergency.

YB Fahmi Fadzil released the Order Paper today on Twitter and confirmed there is no mention of Sarawak’s Emergency, despite the Agong’s condition that the Emergency be extended only if the matter be voted on by MPs according to the constitution.

PN’s blatant attempt to delay the the Sarawak election was concocted by Mahiaddin in his final weeks and agreed to by the King “pursuant to Clause [3] of Article 150 of the Federal Constitution”, meaning it must be voted on in the sitting parliament. However, since this agreement there has been no talk of the matter being debated, with Sabri following in Mahiaddin’s footsteps to sweep democracy under the rug and ignore both constitutional and royal demand.

Of course, this cabinet’s disregard for democracy is hardly surprising giving it understood of the same ministers who failed the nation during the worst of the pandemic, and whose leader has just been rewarded with leading the National Recovery Council and a fat ministerial salary to boot.

Revealing his royal hand

While Malaysia’s Emergency ended on August 1, Sarawak’s was extended by order of the Agong from August 2 to February 22 under the condition it be voted on in Parliament.

The Agong became increasingly involved in government during the final month of Mahiaddin’s rule supposedly out of a concern for national health and rule of law. However, despite appointing Sabri as PM under the condition that a Vote of Confidence be held in parliament, the King has since changed his mind, with de facto law minister Wan Junaida Tuanka Jaafar today reporting the King has consented for Sabri not to undergo a Confidence vote.

Unsurprisingly, then, there is not so much as a squeak from the palace about Putrajaya’s omission of a vote on Sarawak’s emergency from the Order Paper. Has the Agong forgotten about the condition laid out in his royal extension? Or will he flip-flop on this demand too? Perhaps the King’s concerns are not for national health and rule of law, but for instating leaders whose main concerns are protecting their interests and therefore his own?

This changeable attitude does not bode well for the people of Sarawak, now living under a caretaker GPS government for three months (with little care taken!) The state has suffered extreme floods and logjams all year which have devastated the environment, drowned longhouses and displaced local communities. Peter Kallang today told Radio Free Sarawak that 2021 is “the worst year in the past 50 years” and demanded Sarawak’s Forestry Department stop logging concessions immediately. However, both GPS and the Forestry Department refused to take responsibility for Sarawak’s logging culture and excessive timber concessions, and instead blamed the natives for last month’s terrible logjam.

This is yet another unsurprising fact for Sarawakians who have spent the past 50 years suffering under GPS rule, who use bribes and threats to keep power just to pillage the state’s resources. In the 12MP (Malaysia Plan) announced today, Minister Mustapa Mohamed announced that a key issue will be to bridge the development gap between the states: “We have identified six states which are a little behind (in terms of development), including Sabah and Sarawak. ”

This reads as nothing more than another set of empty promises from PN2.0 as it is the interplay of Umno and GPS rule which has happily logged over 80% of Sarawak’s forests to line their own pockets while forcing the people into abject poverty and powerlessness. If Sabri’s cabinet have any concern for Sarawak’s development, they will lift the spurious Emergency in the state with the most successful vaccination drive and allow Sarawakians to go to the polls and vote out the corrupt politicians who are single-handedly responsible for Sarawak’s misery.

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