KUCHING, July 22 — The Sarawak Association of People’s Aspirations today reminded the federal government of the state’s full constitutional rights nearly 60 years after the signing of the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
Marking Sarawak Day here, its president Dominique Ng claimed a growing number of Sarawakians were becoming disenchanted with the Pakatan Harapan federal administration’s delay in restoring their rights.
“We are not talking about the 20 per cent royalty on oil and gas which the Pakatan Harapan promised us in its election manifesto, but all the rights enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement and Federal Constitution,” he told reporters after a Sarawak Independence Day rally at the Padang Merdeka here.
He said the rights include over oil and gas resources, territorial boundary and continental shelf.
Ng, a lawyer, accused the federal government of taking control of state oil and gas resources through the passage of the Petroleum Development Act 1974 that Sarawak does not want to ratify.
Ng said his group support the state government in enforcing the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 which empowers the state to regulate the activities of oil companies in Sarawak and imposing the 5 per cent on the export of petroleum and petroleum products.
Despite heavy rain on the rally, Ng called the event jointly organised with the Sarawak Dayak National Congress, Solidariti Anak Sarawak and Sarawak For Sarawakians, a tremendous success.
He said heavy rain, which fell earlier, failed to dampen the spirit of enthusiastic participants, which he estimated to be between 4,000 to 5,000, gathered at Padang Merdeka.
“I believe the spirit of the nationalist movement in Sarawak will remain strong,” Ng said, adding that more would have come if there was no rain.
He thanked the state government for allowing the organisers of the Sarawak Independence Day rally permission to use Padang Merdeka for the first time.
The highlight of the rally was the hoisting of the flag of the kingdom of Sarawak in 1841 and the current flag, as Fairland Sarawak, an anthem when Sarawak was under the reign of Rajah Brooke, was played.