Friday 1 June 2012

Sarawak to be an ‘equal partner’ under Pakatan rule, says Anwar

KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will adhere to the proper spirit of federalism and ensure that Sarawak is accorded as much rights and privileges as other states should the opposition come to power in the future, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said.

The PR de facto leader said today his coalition does not view the state as a “fixed deposit” for any party, and that Sarawak is more important than just winning votes.

“Sarawak for us is an equal partner in the Federation of Malaysia. In our vision of the future, Sarawakians will shape their state while aiding the wider federation to become more unified and strong.

“This is the true spirit of federalism Malaysia espoused when it was formed in 1963,” Anwar (picture) said in a special Gawai address today.

He stressed that the rights of all Sarawakians must be made a priority by the government of the day, and that the state must cease to play “second fiddle” in Malaysian politics especially when it came to issues affecting them.

He said it was regrettable that many Sarawakians still lacked basic access to education, basic amenities, healthcare and employment opportunities despite Sarawak being Malaysia’s largest state and a crucial contributor to the country’s oil and gas revenue.

“It is regrettable that the majority in resource-rich Sarawak do not enjoy the benefits of being in a blessed state. That must change, that has to change.

“I believe that the winds of change have begun to drift onto the shores of Sarawak,” Anwar said, referring to the results of last year’s Sarawak state election.

He said the state election results were proof that many Sarawakians are “waking up” to the various abuses of the present state government.

Although Barisan Nasional (BN) managed to keep its two-thirds legislative majority but last year’s state election results have shattered the coalition’s invincibility and the notion of a fixed deposit in future elections.
BN won 55 of the 71 state seats, much fewer than the 62 seats the coalition won in the previous 2006 Sarawak state election. This time around, the DAP won 12 state seats while PKR won three.

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