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Friday, June 10, 2016

Putrajaya should seriously look into Sarawak’s request for greater autonomy

KUCHING - Sarawak's request for greater autonomy must not be taken lightly by the Federal Government, says a government backbencher.

Semop assemblyman Abdullah Saidol said the state government's pursuit of autonomy was a matter of importance to Sarawakians, in line with their aspirations for more development funds and self-administration in state matters.

"We don't want the state's interests to be run by remote control from Putrajaya. These demands are not new but are our state rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

"We are serious in our demands but it doesn't mean we want to secede. We are proud to be Sarawakians who are Malaysian citizens," he said when proposing the motion of thanks for the Head of State's address in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly on Friday.

Abdullah said the state leadership was sincere in pursuing Sarawak's constitutional rights from the Federal Government, especially with regard to gaining more funds to expedite development.

"But if the Federal Government takes our demands lightly with no concrete results, I feel we need to remind those in Putrajaya not to take for granted that Sarawak is Barisan Nasional's fixed deposit in Parliament," he added.

Speaking to reporters later, Abdullah reiterated that the Federal Government should be serious about the state's efforts towards autonomy and administrative empowerment.

He hoped there would be favourable results soon, preferably before the next general election.

"All Sarawakians are looking forward to this, especially for more development funds coming in. If nothing is favourable, I don't mind saying that it may have some impact on the people's support during the general election," he said.

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