We celebrate Malaysia’s 58th year as a nation with sombre examination of the present times; difficult times that our people are going through in this pandemic but also with an expectation and hope that it will be a better tomorrow for all of us including those of us here in Sarawak.
Firstly, we pay tribute to Malaysians in the frontlines and their families who have endured, persevered and sacrifice much to stem the virus the last 18 months only to be greeted with the emergence of variants that seek to ravage more lives. We pray for renewed strength, health and wisdom to be given to you so that you won’t give up.
Needless to say the frequent changes of federal government has caused disruptions in policies which in turn has adversely impacted our economy and also the livelihoods of the ordinary man and women. We have also learnt that a declaration of an Emergency has come no where near to stop politicking. We thus welcome the historic occasion of the signing of an MOU for Transformation and Political Stability between the new Ismail Sabri government and Pakatan Harapan parties on the 13th Sept 2021. We are hopeful that this confidence and supply arrangement/understanding will enable government (and opposition) to focus on policies to re-build our country back to pre-pandemic levels but in the new normal. The MOU also consist of overdue administrative, institutional and parliamentary reforms such as Undi18 and AVR, anti-party hopping law and equal constituency development funding. The MOU can only be a good thing for all Malaysian voters if parties to it keeps to their understanding; with the Opposition still playing the role of check, balance and scrutiny of the government but at the same time not bringing down the present government through a numbers game. We have noted that GPS has welcomed the point on allocation of equal constituency development funds for Opposition members in the MOU and ROSE calls on the Sarawak state government to also adopt such policy and work out a formula that benefits all voters and not just voters with ADUNs in government.
Of particular interest for us here in Sarawak is the clause to strengthen the efforts to implementation and realization of the terms of the Malaysia Agreement 1963. The frequent changes in government, changes in committees or councils and has left us sceptical and disillusioned on whether or not these talks on devolution of powers to the state is on the right track. All developments pertaining to the achievement of the terms of this MOU will be carefully watched and scrutinised by civil society including ROSE.
We wish all peace-loving Malaysians a Selamat Hari Malaysia!
Anak Sarawak, Anak Malaysia
16th Sept 2021