Sarawak not just another state, says SUPP’s Sim

Sim Kui Hian

PETALING JAYA: Sarawakians have been urged to stop “belittling” themselves by referring to Sarawak as another state in the Malaysian federation.

SUPP president Dr Sim Kui Hian was quoted in news reports today saying that “Sarawak should be known as Sarawak, not one of the 13 states in the formation of Malaysia” if the people wanted greater administrative autonomy from Putrajaya.

Sim’s remarks are the latest in a series of declarations by politicians that Sarawak was an equal signatory to the formation of Malaysia, alongside the Federation of Malaya, Singapore and North Borneo (as Sabah was then known).

Sim’s remark, reported by Malay Mail Online, came at the launching of a book *The Grand Design* by Sabahan researcher Zainnal Ajamain at SUPP headquarters here.

He revealed that he raised the matter with Chief Minister Adenan Satem and said he was not reprimanded for saying so. “That to me meant that he has no objection” he was quoted as saying.

Sim is state minister for local government in Adenan’s cabinet.

He urged Sarawakians to study the Malaysia Agreement signed on Sept 9, 1963, so they would be familiar with Malaysia’s formation.

Adenan has sought greater administrative autonomy for his government under the terms of the Malaysia Agreement since he became chief minister in 2014.

A few days ago, he revealed that he expected negotiations on the devolution of power to the state government to be completed by the end of the year.