The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in his campaigning for the Sarawak Barisan Nasional in the 11th Sarawak state general election, promised that he is committed to bringing Sarawak to greater heights so that it will be on par with Peninsular Malaysia.
Before Malaysia was formed in 1963, many missions and study tours from Sarawak and Sabah were organised to visit Peninsular Malaysia to convince Sarawakians and Sabahans that Sarawak and Sabah would benefit if they agree to form Malaysia with Malaya and Singapore, promising that Sarawak and Sabah would enjoy the type of development in the rural areas in Peninsular Malaysia if they chose to federate with Peninsular Malaysia to form Malaysia.
The series of study tours and fact-finding visits by Sarawakians and Sabahans to Malaya succeeded because Malaysia was formed on Sept. 16, 1963.
One clear promise that Tun Razak, father of Najib, made on becoming the second Prime Minister at the end of 1970 was that Sarawak and Sabah would be developed on par with Peninsular Malaysia.
I am therefore surprised to read of Najib echoing his father’s pledge some half a century ago, when Tun Razak’s pledge should have been achieved more than a generation ago, and not be used as a campaign pledge in the 11th state general elections in Sarawak more than 52 years after the formation of Malaysia.
Najib’s repeating of his father’s pledge some half a century ago is a testimony of how Sarawak and Sarawakians had been neglected in Malaysia in the past decades although Sarawak was firmly under Barisan Nasional Sarawak rule and control all the time.
The Sarawak Barisan Nasional had failed the biggest challenge of Sarawak in the past half a century – how to resolve the conundrum of Sarawak as one of the richest states in the country, but Sarawakians among the poorest in Malaysia!
Why is Sarawak such a rich state but the people of Sarawak so poor?
I have said that the 11th Sarawak State General Elections on May 7 have already resolved on Nomination Day the question as to who is to be the Sarawak Chief Minister for the next five years and who will form the Sarawak the government.
Nobody else apart from Adenan Satem is going to be the Sarawak Chief Minister, and the Sarawak State Government will come from Sarawak Barisan Nasional.
The only question is whether DAP will make a breakthrough to send to the Sarawak State Assembly not only Chinese State Assemblymen/women, but also Bidayuh, Iban, Orang Ulu and even Malay State Assemblymen and women to make the Sarawak State Assembly the most important and critical forum in the next five years for resolving the conundrum of Sarawak being such a rich state but the people of Sarawak being among the poorest in the country.
DAP has fielded 31 candidates, 14 Chinese, 16 Dayaks (four Bidayuhs, nine Ibans and three Orang Ulus) and one Malay candidate.
This have debunked the lie that DAP is a Chinese party, as it proves the DAP is a party for all Sarawakians and Malaysians regardless of ethnicity or religion.
The year 2016 is my 50th year in Malaysian politics, and my hope and wish on my 50th anniversary in Malaysians politics is to see not only Chinese, but also Dayak and Malay State Assemblymen and women representing the DAP in the Sarawak State Assembly on May 7.
(Speech at the DAP Sarawak State General election ceramah at Rh Unjar, Pakan on Friday, 29th April 2016 at 10 pm)