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Monday, February 24, 2014

Sarawak Independent- Myth, Struggle and Hope.

I was impressed by recent agenda and ideology of a group of Sarawak' natives on the idea of Sarawak's Independent from the Federation of Malaysia. Sarawak joined federation of Malaysia on September 16, 1976 under the term "Association with the Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia and that made Sarawak as the 13th State of Malaysia before Singapore separate with Malysia on August 9, 1965. After the separation, Sarawak became the 12th State followed by Sabah as the 13th State. According to Malaysia history, Sarawak joined the federation by the common agreement and willingness of the people under the Cobbold Commission's referendum.  

The ideology of Sarawak Independent was initiated long before the independent state join the federation of Malaysia. SUPP was form in early 1959 to oppose Federation of Malaysia with the slogan "Sarawak for Sarawakian:. Many protest has been organized by the political party in Sibu, Miri and Kuching to voice-up their objection on the proposal of Federation.  Mr. Ong Kee Hui was labelled as communist by the Malayan government and he was sidelined from the negotiation. 

SNAP was founded on April 10, 1961 by Mr. Stephen Kalong Ningkan and one of the formation's objective is to make Sarawak as an Independent state. He led the party and won the state election and became Sarawak's first Chief Minister until he was ousted by the Malayan government under the Sarawak Constitutional Crisis in 1966.

SUPP and SNAP were divided into fraction of Political camps that separated the natives into  several political parties and the ideology of struggle of the state independent was forgotten. SNAP was registered due to party leadership crisis and money politics that was engineered by the Malayan based party together with Sarawak politicians in Ming Court Hotel in 1987. This two giants lot their battle in modern politic warfare as they are fighting for money politics instead of holding firm on the party's objective and it original struggle. 

The new breed of generation could be able to figure out how to negotiate for Independent from Malaysia. Yet, it is an uncertainties to the whole Sarawakians as there are obstacles that they have to face:-

1. Sarawak political party is weaken by fractions and the "divide and rule strategy" by the Malayan sponsored political party. There is no was for political unity in Sarawak as they are engraved with different spirit and ideology of political struggle. The Dayak, the majority ethnic in Sarawak could not be united under one political struggle as ego and self agenda overpassed the real struggle of the people. It begun in SNAP, PBDS and now the Dayak are divided into PRS, SPDP, SWP and others. It is an advantage for the Malayan sponsored party to continue to rule as the party could secured the most seats in the state assembly. 

2. A weak political will among the people of Sarawak has made them being in such complacency for more than 50 years. There is no other way to win over Sarawak from the Federation. It only can be done by strong political force that could be the best strength of self governance and readiness to rule over the state. It could be not enough to talk it over social media and coffee-shop conversation because serious business must be planned and lay-out with serious moves and actions. The Arab Spring has proven  to the whole world that only by people's unity and strong desire to be free can make a change. There is no weapon needed if the government and the people could work together and agree upon amendment of constitution. Syria has different situation due to western political intervention that lead to civil-war. 

3. The west-Malaysia's political influence. Sarawak only can negotiate for independent if they are agreed to work under local political party and not the political party that is based in Peninsular. It is only possible if the people of Sarawak could  distinguish the true meaning of right to be different and liberal democracy. Borneo Agenda can only be an idealism for those who have the strong force and unity and not a mere personal ideology which lead to nowhere.