KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said today that Sabah and Sarawak are still getting a raw deal 47 years after the two states came together with Malaya and Singapore to form Malaysia.
“It is unfortunate that 47 years after the formation of Malaysia, the wealth from Sabah and Sarawak’s natural resources is still not being enjoyed fairly and equally. Until today, many Malaysians from both states are living in poor conditions,” said Lim in his Malaysia Day message today.
Without naming anyone, Lim claimed the two states continued to be overlooked without particular consideration for their natives.
This will be the first year that Malaysia Day is being marked as a national public holiday.
Sabah, then known as North Borneo, Sarawak, Malaya and Singapore came together to form Malaysia on September 16, 1963. Singapore was later expelled from the Federation in 1965.
“From one angle, there are those in the peninsular who are fighting to defend their special Bumiputera status which they see as their right and cannot even be discussed at all. From another angle, those fighters do not even care for the same special Bumiputera status in Sabah and Sarawak.
“DAP practices equal rights without choosing race and religion. At the same time, DAP respects the Federal Constitution drawn up in 1957,” he said.
Lim said if the federal government was sincere about protecting the special position of Bumiputeras, it should ensure equal treatment for members of the community in both west and east Malaysia.
“The federal government cannot push Sabah and Sarawak to the sidelines. It has to ensure that both states enjoy the same opportunities in education, employment, investment and business just as the peninsular states,” he said.