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1963, Adenan Satem, July 22 1963, Sarawak autonomy, Sarawak Day, Sarawak Independence, Sarawakian

Sarawak seeks full autonomy and devolution of more federal power

I HOPE my fellow Sarawakians had a wonderful Sarawak Day yesterday and took time to remember our State’s day of independence 52 years ago on July 22, 1963.

Our State Government had an official do, as they have done in the past. It wasn’t as grand as our 50th Anniversary celebration two years ago or during our Ruby Anniversary in 2013, but it was a special commemoration nonetheless.

Adenan SatemI must say that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Adenan Satem looked rather sharp in his white suit as well as tie and pocket square in the Sarawak colours.

His words too were sharp and on point as usual.

Adenan made clear that the State government continues to pursue “full autonomy for Sarawak under the constitution” and believes “in devolution of more federal power to the State”.

He was also very clear that Sarawak does “not agree to secession from the federation”.

Our Chief Minister rightly pointed out that Sarawak is not just a state within the Federation of Malaysia but a founding state – a party to the formation with every say in the Cobbold Commission report.

“Malaysia is a federation of equality and not domination by Kuala Lumpur or some other party.

“We have not ceased to be a British colony controlled by London just simply to be controlled by another power, and we must therefore insist on our autonomy,” he stressed.

Too right! I don’t know about you but I am so very proud to be a Sarawakian.

Here’s the Bernama report:

Sarawak government does not support secession, says CM Adenan

KUCHING: Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said today the state government agreed with the sentiment expressed by the ‘Sarawak for Sarawakians’ movement but does not agree to the state’s secession from Malaysia.

He said it could not be denied that Malaysia had brought Sarawak and its people all the benefits over the years although it might not be enough as expected today.

“We are still one country trying to improve everybody and let me say here that the state government agrees with the sentiment expressed by the ‘Sarawak for Sarawakians’ movement but we do not agree to secession from the federation,” he said at a ceremony commemorating the history of Sarawak’s independence held at the compound of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly building here.

Adenan said the state government would not entertain and approve that course of action, including referendum, as a way of getting there.

“We, however, believe in full autonomy for Sarawak under the constitution, we believe in devolution of more federal power to the state which we are now negotiating with the federal government,” he said, adding that a committee had been set up to look into the matter.

He said Sarawak was not just a state within the federation but a founding state of the Federation of Malaysia, a party to the formation and had every say in the Cobbold Commission report.

“Malaysia is a federation of equality and not domination by Kuala Lumpur or some other party.

“We have not ceased to be a British colony controlled by London just simply to be controlled by another power, and we must therefore insist on our autonomy,” he stressed.

He said Kuala Lumpur could take care of the national defence, foreign affairs and security but leave the local and localised matters, especially financial matters, to the state.

“Let me repeat that while we sympathise with the sentiment expressed as there is a ground swell of opinion in Sarawak insisting on autonomy and so on and we subscribe to and welcome that but not to the extent of ceding from the federation. We are Malaysia, one, we are Malaysia now and we shall be Malaysia
forever in years to come,” said Adenan.

Adenan said the state government was also over and above insisting on its autonomy with regard to the 18 points and was in the midst of negotiating with the federal government on the allocation of more power back to Sarawak in terms of land transport, land transfer and other matters.

“We have set up a committee to (look into the) details of where we can devolve certain power back to the state,” he added.

He said Sarawak was also the executive authority to implement these policies in Sarawak.

“We are no longer ignorant people, we are responsible people and we have shown that we can do things on our own without other people’s assistance and we can achieve things,” he said.

With regard to the request for a public holiday on July 22, Adenan said he would consider the request preferably and would announce the decision before the end of the year.

Also present at the ceremony were Sarawak Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud and his wife Toh Puan Ragad Taib as well as federal and state cabinet ministers.

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