Former PM's call to Sarawakians to wait "patiently" for development set to trigger an outpouring of scorn and seething resentment
KUCHING: What is wrong with these federal leaders, scholars and politicians? Don’t they think before they speak? Who gave them the right to lie, cheat and be condescending to Sarawakians, and for that matter Sabahans?
First it was an ‘insulting’ statement from Zaki Amir, Chairman of Special Review Commission on Civil Service Transformation, about Dayaks’ mental capacity and now former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad has stirred the ire of locals by asking them to patiently wait for development.
And these are only two leaders in the now. Archives offer a litanny of stupid and downright rude statements mouthed by eminent and ‘learned’ personalities who are not only ignorant of their debt to Sarawak and Sabah but who have forgotten the meaning of common decency, politeness and speaking the truth.
Mahathir recently said the people of Sabah and Sarawak should be patient and wait for natural resources to be extracted and the fruit of foreign investments to materialise before they can experience the same tempo of development as their counterparts in the Peninsula.
Seriously, how long do oil rich states have to wait for development?
Coming from Mahathir, the statement is strange considering he is well aware of how much the federal capital has exploited the oil and gas resources of Sabah and Sarawak.
Sarawak commenced its oil production in the early 1900s while Sabah has been producing oil for 30 years now.
And Petronas, a petroleum company wholly owned by the federal government, has been exploiting the oil and gas resources in Sabah and Sarawak on land and offshore since 1974.
And in return for their natural resources, Sabah and Sarawak received five percent oil royalty and the current status of being the “poorest” states in the country.
Sarawak Senior Minister James Masing who also helms Dayak based Parti Rakyat Sarawak was sarcastic when he questioned Mahathir’s rationale for asking “us to wait patiently”.
“Mahathir wants Sarawakians and Sabahans to be patient?
“Our oil and gas resources are depleting, almost finished and he is asking us to be patient,” said an irate Masing.
He said if Sarawak had retained its oil rights and used the oil and gas revenue strictly for “our own state” these past years, Sarawak would be on par with West Malaysia in terms of development.
“Just look across at West Malaysian towns and cities now and that speaks for itself,” he said, bemused at Mahathir’s comment that development in Sabah and Sarawak had “outstripped” the peninsular.