Sunday, 16 September 2012

This is the third year Malaysians celebrate Malaysia Day as a public holiday. The Prime Minister announced that 16 September is declared as public holiday and the day would involve activities to foster 1 spirit Malaysia in 2010. Since then celebration are held to commemorate this day.  And Bintulu, Sarawak has been selected to celebrate Malaysia Day this year. Thousands of public money were spent for the celebration with no meaning to the people of Malaysia.  

While the people rejoiced when the announcement of public holiday was made, how many of us really rejoiced because the declaration has finally given recognition to the people of Sabah and Sarawak? How many of us truly believe that there will be no more disparity between Peninsula and East Malaysia?

Well, let’s look at some simple facts as … both Sabah and Sarawak have plenty of resources from timber, oil, wealth from plantation industry and etc. But both the state remains among the poorest state in Malaysia. In contrary, the leaders of the states are among the richest people in the region. Nobody could dispute the wealth owned by the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Taib Mahmud.  

In both states land remain a major problem for the indigenous people, where they are struggling to get the state to give due recognition to their customary land rights. There are many incidents where the indigenous people have been forcedly removed from their customary land in the name of development. There is no end to this problem despite the cry by this marginalized community.

The list can go on and we can list up many issues that affect the people in Sabah and Sarawak. Many articles written by others on Malaysia Day have already highlighted some of these issues. So, for us, here is our wish list for Malaysia Day 2012 and to be reasonable we will limit the wish to only 3.

1.       Provide same minimum wage for Sabah and Sarawak. The government recently announced minimum wage of RM900 for Peninsula Malaysia and RM800 for East Malaysia. What is the rational of providing minimum wage below poverty line in East Malaysia? The cost of living in East Malaysia is higher 30-40% higher than Peninsular. Please treat the work force in East Malaysia equally as their counterpart in Peninsula.

 2.       Lift the ban entry to Sarawak and Sabah. There are a group of people from Peninsula especially the human rights activists that have been barred from entering the state of Sarawak and Sabah. If the government really appreciates the integration of society between East and West Malaysia, then do not discriminate the people who have been critical of the state government or of those who merely wanted to help to empower the marginalized people in the state.

 3.       Redistribute the wealth and reduce the income disparity among the people in Sabah and Sarawak. Both leaders and politicians in the states should not enjoy the wealth at the expense of the people. After all, it is the people who are working hard to bring out the resources. So, why leave them live in poverty?

 If the government is sincere in giving true meaning of Malaysia Day, let’s begin with the above. Do not give empty promises which will not bring any changes to the people in Malaysia. Do not declare 16 September as a public holiday just because Sabah and Sarawak is a fix deposit for BN. Enough of giving sweets. We want change for the people.


Released by : 

Last Updated ( Thursday, 25 September 2014 )
Share |
Joomla Templates and Joomla Web Sites