KUCHING: The Sarawak state government is not seeking secession from Malaysia, said Tan Sri Adenan Satem.
“The state government agrees with the sentiment expressed by the ‘Sarawak for Sarawakians’ movement but we do not agree to secession from the Federation,” the Chief Minister said at a ceremony commemorating the history of the state’s independence, held at the compound of the State Legislative Assembly building here Wednesday.
He said it could not be denied that Malaysia had brought Sarawak and its people benefits over the years, although it might not be as much as expected.
Adenan said the state government would not entertain nor approve any course of action, including a referendum, for this purpose.
“We, however, believe in full autonomy for Sarawak under the Constitution. We believe in the 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.
Adenan also said Sarawak was a founding state of the Federation of Malaysia, a party to the formation of the country 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. We must therefore insist on our autonomy,” he said.
He said Kuala Lumpur could take care of matters regarding national defence, foreign affairs and security, but should leave the local matters, especially financial matters, to the state.
“Let me repeat that we sympathise with the sentiment expressed… but not to the extent of ceding from the Federation.
“We are Malaysia now and we shall be Malaysia in years to come,” said Adenan.