A human rights advocate has called on an academician from Peninsular Malaysia to apologise to Sarawakians for demanding they leave the Federation if they are not happy with it.
“She insulted us,” Sarawak 4 Sarawakians (S4S) chief Peter John Jaban said on Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UMP) lecturer Prof Ramlah Adam’s comments at a history seminar held in Kuching yesterday.
The professor, in spite of her long list of titles, was not well-informed, added Jaban in a statement.
“She had said that any Sarawakian who wanted to raise questions about the position of their homeland in Malaysia should just get out of the country,” Jaban said, adding that Ramlah made her comments to a hall packed with Sarawakians.
The human rights advocate said he has questions for the academician who spoke at the seminar entitled, “A Journey to Merdeka: Sarawak in Malaysia”.
“Does she feel that all Sarawakians should leave their homeland for the Malayans to occupy it?
“Does her call also apply to Chief Minister Adenan Satem, who is currently raising a question – Sarawak’s position in the Federation – with the Federal Government as he made clear immediately following her statement?” Jaban asked.
The S4S chief also noted Ramlah went on to lament that Malays in the peninsula lost their dignity when the name of the country was changed from Persekutuan Tanah Melayu to Malaysia.
Clearly, he said, she does not feel that Malaysia is a new country and continues to ignore the individualities of Malaya’s partner nations.
“This must be why the moderator limited questions for this academician to two. Obviously, this was to prevent further embarrassment to them and further insult to the people of Sarawak,” he said.
Jaban expressed disappointment that the panel simply ignored an excellent question by former lawmaker Donna Babel on the anti-cession movement.
“This was the real moment in Sarawak’s history. It marked the transition from a locally-based administration to a colonial one,” he said.
It’s clear that little research has been done among local academicians on the circumstances surrounding the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and Sarawak history, he continued.
There’s an assumption the Brooke Dynasty and the British colonial administration were one and the same, he noted.
“Sarawakians clearly supported the Brooke administration while objecting to their colonization after World War II by the British,” Jaban said.
“Brooke rule was not colonial, as in an occupation of one country by another for the benefit of the former.”
FMT Reporters Online