By John Isaac
PARTI Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh today challenged Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) president Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian to a debate on the impact of the recent constitutional amendment Bill passed in the august House last Thursday.
Wong, who is Bawang Assan assemblyman, described last Thursday as “a black day” for Sarawak, contrary to what Dr Sim described as “a great day for Sarawak” after the Constitution of the State of Sarawak (Amendent) Bill, 2020 was passed.
He said PSB and the opposition bench objected to the second part of the Bill, which stated that Malaysians who were not born in Sarawak were eligible to become a member of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) of Sarawak.
He was appalled that Dr Sim had failed to understand the meaning of the words in the Bill, and reiterated during a recent press conference that “you must be born in Sarawak” in order to stand as a candidate in Sarawak state election.
According to reports in Borneo Post, Wong said the amendment Bill clearly stated that a candidate did not have to be born in Sarawak in order to stand in the state election of Sarawak.
“If Dr Sim does not believe what we said, we are willing to debate with him what is the true impact of the amendment that he so gleefully announced as ‘a great day for Sarawak’, which he, SUPP and GPS had brought about with this amendment.
“In reality, it was a black day for Sarawak when GPS amended the Constitution to allow a person who is not born in Sarawak to become an ADUN (member of the State Legislative Assembly) or even chief minister of Sarawak,” he told a press conference at the PSB headquarters in Kuching.
Wong said the new amendment could lead to a potential change of political structure, for the DUN to be controlled by non-Sarawakians.
“The proverbial Camel has now entered the tent,” he added.
He said PSB adhered to its belief that only Sarawakians can really look after the affairs of the state of Sarawak.
As such, he said PSB elected members of the august House were steadfast against the second part of the Bill, and any bill that had the potential to diminish the rights of Sarawakians.
Since the formation of Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963, Wong said Sarawak’s rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) had been systematically eroded.
He added that Acts detrimental to the state’s interests such as the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) 1974 and Territorial Sea Act (TSA) 2012 were passed simply because preserving Sarawak’s interest was not a paramount consideration.
“The PDA and TSA were passed by members of Parliament from PBB, SUPP and other component parties of Barisan Nasional Sarawak which is now called GPS.
“We want to make it crystal clear that we will not allow any actions that negatively affect Sarawakian rights without the blessing of all Sarawakians.
“If entrusted by Sarawakians as the next state government, we pledge that we shall leave no stone unturned nor spare any effort to ensure that there is still meaning to being a Sarawakian,” he said.