SUPP, a party of strong principles

The Annual Delegates Conference is the supreme decision making body in the Party therefore your thoughts and views on our Party, your assessment on the performance of our Party Central Working Committee and the Party as a whole is extremely important.

So, please participate and let us hear your thoughts.

The biggest event of the calendar for Sarawak and the people of Sarawak was the recently concluded Sarawak Election 2016.

The nomination day was on the 25th April 2016 and the polling day was on the 7th May 2016.

Barisan Nasional contested all the 82 seats and won 72 seats, representing 87.8% support of Sarawakians throughout Sarawak.

On behalf of SUPP we would like to congratulate our YAB Chief Minister Adenan and BN Component Parties for such a resounding victory at the just concluded Sarawak Election PRN 11.

SUPP contested 13 constituencies and would like to Congratulate our Party President Datuk Dr. Sim for taking charge of the Sarawak Election.

Of the 13 constituencies that we stood, we won 7 of them and 3 were appointed as Minister & Assistant Minister. They are,

  1. Party President, YB Senator Datuk Dr. Sim Kui Hian, Minister of Local Government
  2. YB Datuk Francis Harden, Assistant Minister for Rural Economy (Interior Areas) and Plantation

iii.  YB Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Assistant Minister for Tourism & Assistant Minister for Land and Air Transportation and Safety

Win or lose, we could not have done it without each and every one of you united, working hard and dedicated your time to help the Party to perform good in a “do or die”  Election and survive the looming threats posed to our Party.

Indeed many people had written off the support for our Party and predicted that this election would probably see the demise of this longest surviving political Party of Sarawak.

We recognise and  acknowledge that the people of Sarawak really gave our Party another chance with their votes.

They voted for us and with their support we managed to win back the 4 seats that were under DAP namely Batu Kawah, Repok, Meradong and Piasau.

In addition, we would like to thank all our BN Component Parties for their strong support and fantastic close working relationship and fellowship before and during the Sarawak Election.

I also want to thank Datuk Matthew Chen and his team for running the Central Election Operation Room (CEOR) smoothly throughout the election.

Now all of us especially the YBs must work even harder in making sure all promises made during the campaign are fulfilled before the next Sarawak Election in 2021.

This time around, the people have given us the trust and confidence to represent them in DUN and we should seize this chance seriously and must not let our Party down and in particular the people who gave us this chance.

It was very unfortunate and sad that our Party was not given the opportunity to stand in all of our 19 traditional seats in the recent Sarawak Election.

In the last ADC back in 2015, the delegates had given the mandate to the CWC to do whatever were necessary to defend those seats and any new seats allocated to us.

We diligently took up that responsibility and had many rounds of discussions and representations with both YAB Chief Minister of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem who is also the Chairman for Sarawak BN and YAB Prime Minister of Malaysia Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Razak who is also the Chairman for BN.

It was most unfortunate for our Party that we were allocated 13 seats.

I would like to apologise to our comrades here and Party’s members as a whole for not being able to carry out the mandate passed at 2015 Annual Delegates Conference.

With the 7 seats that we won, we must work even harder and show to the people who elected us that we are worthy of their trust confidence and their support and that they made the right decision in the recent Sarawak Election.

The new leadership is fully committed to achieve high-performance with excellent KPI in serving the people and improving the living standard of the people of Sarawak.

We would want our members and the people to know that SUPP is a Party of strong principles with the reliable senior members and the energetic young members working together to get the things done.

The Party Central received a  letter dated 23rd September 2016 from ROS, approving the formation of two new branches, namely Batu Kitang Branch and Stakan Branch. It is always a good sign when the Party is expanding and we will have more SUPP comrades on the ground providing our usual assistance and service to the people.

Education is always very important to us and it has always been a subject for discussion and very often at a loss because for decades the direction and policy kept changing whenever a new Minister of Education was appointed. 

The medium of instruction was changed from English to Bahasa Malaysia some 40 years ago and this has resulted in the drop of the standard in English ever since to the extent that quite a lot of our graduates were not proficient in their English and were unemployable in the global world.

We all know the importance of English as it is the international language for communication, all aspects of knowledge and for business.

Our Chief Minister fully understands this and he and his Cabinet had decided that English would be the second official language for Sarawak and that English would be used as a medium of instruction to teach in all schools in Sarawak.

In addition, our Sarawak Government has set the target of having 90% of our Sarawakian teachers in all our schools by the year 2018.

Our Party is fully supportive of the above decisions and we witnessed the approval and the level of support of Sarawakians throughout Sarawak in the May Sarawak Election where BN won 72 seats out of 82 seats.

Of late, Education became a hot topic of discussion in Sarawak especially last month when Minister for Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Datuk Fatimah Abdullah announced that Sarawak’s aim to achieve 90 per cent of the total number of teachers staffed by locals by 2018 would in jeopardy.

The 2017 budget proposal by the Federal Government to close two Institut Pendidikan Guru (IPG) in Sarawak and converting them into vocational colleges is detrimental to Sarawakians. Our IPGs should not be sacrificed for vocational colleges as all are equally important to Sarawak.

SUPP fully supports the call by YAB Chief Minister Adenan to halt the conversion of these two IPGs. Yes, we need to have more vocational colleges or polytechnics to enlarge the local skilled workforce but these should be in addition to the IPGs and not at their expense.

We need to remind the Federal Government of their promises to us in the first phase of the devolution of powers last year. Getting 90 per cent of the total number of teachers to be staffed by locals by 2018 is one of them.

Furthermore, SUPP welcomes the move by YAB Chief Minister Adenan to make English as the second official language in Sarawak.

This move is long overdue to solve problems of unemployment among Sarawak graduates. We need to build up a society that are bilingual or even trilingual like Singapore, able to speak their national language, preserved their mother tongue and at the same time converse in English with the global communities. We want the best for our children.

To clear any doubt at all, SUPP recognises the importance of Bahasa Malaysia too as a national language. Both Bahasa Malaysia and English can indeed progress together and our students are smart enough to master an extra language with ease.

The last Parliamentary Election PRU 13 was held on 5th May 2013 and the term would expire in June 2018. So the million dollar question everyone is asking – When will be the next Parliamentary Election PRU 14 be held? Some people are speculating it can be as early as next year 2017.

There are reasons for us to believe that the next general election, PRU 14, will be around the third quarter of next year 2017, so preparations should start now.

For many years and for so many Parliamentary Elections, our Party was allocated 7  Parliamentary Seats, namely, Bandar Kuching (P195), Stampin (P196), Serian (P199), Sarikei (P208), Lanang (P211), Sibu (P212) and Miri (P219). At present, we only have one Member of Parliament, our Deputy President YB Dato’ Sri Richard Riot, our Minister of Human Resources.

We strongly believe that YAB Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Razak as Chairman of BN and YAB Chief Minister of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem would allocate the 7 Parliamentary Seats to our Party.

Based on the Sarawak Election results and with present Party unity, the hard work of the present YBs and members, and with the continuous support by the general public, we should perform better than in the previous PRU 13 where we won only one seat.

We must have more and capable SUPP representatives in the national platform to contribute in the law making and administration of the Federation.

Another important responsibility will be to ensure future laws or policies made by the Federal Government must be consistent to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and proper consultation must be sought with the Sarawak Government all the times especially when it involves our Sarawak’s Special Rights.

We must continue to speak for Sarawak and for the best interests of all Sarawakians .

Safeguarding Sarawak still remains our top priority and we shall continue to fight for the Rights as agreed upon before Malaysia was formed on the 16th September 1963.

Those Rights are enshrined and contained in the following four International Documents,

  1. The Cobbold Commission Report
  2. The Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report

iii.   The Malaysia Agreement 1963

  1. The Malaysia Act (Chapter 35)

Our Party President is constantly working very hard and so are all the elected YBs in preparation of the coming PRU 14.

Many people have asked important and pertinent questions such as:-

How is the future of Sarawak like in the next 5 – 20 years and beyond?

What is the future for our children? How are the business opportunities for the people ? What about the distribution of the wealth of Sarawak?

Are we going to allow religious bigots or extremists to come into Sarawak to disturb the Peace and Harmony that we have enjoyed and continue to enjoy?  How is our Education system to be like?

Our Chief Minister is taking the lead and had been vocal on the above. Not only did he speak, he takes actions too.

Our future depends on how assertive and successful we are in getting back our Autonomy based on the covenants enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963, the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report, the Malaysia Act (Chapter 35) and the Cobbold Commission Report. We need the Autonomy to determine our own future socio economic development of Sarawak while still being part of Malaysia.

This coming GE14 is about asserting our status in Malaysia as equal partner to Malaya, defending our nation from religious extremism and most importantly getting the complete financial allocation for Sarawak that we are entitled to as agreed in the Malaysia Agreement.

In safeguarding the interest of Sarawak, our Party’s fight does not end in Sarawak DUN only but to be fought in the national platform as well, the Federal Parliament. Therefore, it is pertinent for our Party to have MPs across the South China Sea fighting for better treatment for Sarawak. One of the issues is concerning our Sarawak status in Malaysia.

For the past 40 years, our Sarawak was demoted from being 1 of the 3 Founding Partners of Malaysia to just merely 1 of the 13 states like Kedah and Perlis.

This constitutional change had devastatingly curtailed the disbursement of Federal Funds for Sarawak to a level meant for a 13th State, rather than 1 of the 3 Founding nations of Malaysia. In layman terms, our Sarawak had been short-changed in financial allocations from the Federal Government.

Sarawak’s status was downgraded because of the passing of a list of Federal Constitution amendments named Act A354 in 1976. At that time, our Party leaders then did not object but agreed to the amendment towards the Federal Constitution Article 1(2), ..Consequently, the present Party leadership accepts this responsibility and on behalf of the Party, I have already issued an apology on 20th October 2016 to Party members and to the people of Sarawak as a whole. We would like to propose that a solution be found by introducing an amendment to the Federal Constitution Article 1(2) in Parliament so that it is consistent with the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

Then we have this introduction of Federal Law Act 750:

Territorial Sea Act 2012 that reduced our Sarawak’s territorial waters from 200 nautical miles to just 3 nautical miles measured from the low-water line. I am from Miri and I can tell you that there is no oil within the 3 nautical miles. So how is our Sarawak Government going to ask for more oil & gas royalty from PETRONAS when based on that Federal Law, our Sarawak’s territorial waters is only up to 3 nautical miles?

Please remember this that our Sarawak’s territorial waters extend up to 200 nautical miles after the lifting of the Emergency Ordinance back in 2011. In addition to that, this legislation Act 750 was passed in Parliament without first acquiring consent from the Sarawak DUN when land matters fall under the Sarawak’s power and it includes the 200 nautical miles of sea around Sarawak.

Therefore, not only that this Federal Law Act 750 is not applicable to Sarawak but it needs to be repealed or amended as such in Parliament.

We are extremely concerned to know that Budget 2017 only has enough allocation to repair and upgrade 30 out of 183 most dilapidated schools in Sarawak. We are talking about schools that collapsed into the river or not having any clean water supply for the students.

After 53 years in Malaysia, there is no excuse of why we are still not able to provide good and proper learning environment for the rural students.

How are our students going to excel in life with such condition? Proper planning and adequate resources must be allocated more each year to improve these rural schools.

Sarawak cannot be poor because Sarawak is blessed with rich resources, oil, gas, timber and palm oil. Oil and gas are our wealth and should rightfully belong to us, the people of Sarawak.

For the information of our comrades, the last time I checked and found out that in 2014, Sarawak exported RM 23.2 billion of Crude Petroleum (Miri) and RM 64 billion of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) (Bintulu).

What and Where is our fair share of the resources?

What do we Sarawakians want?

We want Sarawak to be at par as in Peninsular Malaysia, just as developed. We cannot be too far behind them.  What they have we also want to have.

In essence, we want more infrastructure, more roads to be built, more bridges to be constructed, more hospitals, more schools and more technical schools.

There are some political parties and religious extremists in Malaya wanting to introduce the Hudud Law in Malaysia, removing our country’s secular status. Our  Party is very firm and we are totally against the implementation of Hudud Law and as such our Party shall oppose the private member’s Bill proposed by PAS Party President whenever it comes up for debate in Parliament.

With the Malaysia Agreement 1963, we have control over immigration in Sarawak and Sarawak Government can ban such religious extremists and influences from entering Sarawak. Indeed Sarawak Government has been consistent in exercising this absolute discretion. It matters not whether he or she is from a BN component party or from an opposition party.

The sole criteria is whether he or she is considered to be an extremist by the Sarawak Government.

This is important as we don’t not want such extremists to enter Sarawak and disturb our peace, unity and harmony which we have been enjoying for centuries, way before the formation of Malaysia.

SUPP must have complete trust in YAB Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan’s leadership in reclaiming back Sarawak’s Rights.

More importantly, we fully support the initiative by the Sarawak Government in seeking increase of funding from Our oil & gas industry since the Territorial Waters reverted back to Sarawak after the lifting of the Emergency Ordinance.

Sarawak needs the additional funding from our oil & gas resources to bankroll the other areas connected to our strive for our Rights and Autonomy.

We believe that Informing and Educating our members and Sarawakians as a whole about the History behind the Formation of Malaysia, the important documents that safeguards our Rights as an autonomous country and how we lost those Rights is very important.

In this respect, we are pleased to inform our comrades here that SUPP had conducted 15 Public Forums on Sarawak’s Autonomy starting on 22nd November 2015, multiple times in Kuching, Miri, Sibu and Bintulu.

These Political public forums helped us greatly in promoting our Party’s resolutions and stances including helping us to build a stronger trust between us and the public which in turn helped us tremendously in recent Sarawak Election.

More people understood when we spoke of our Party’s Election theme “Safeguard Sarawak”  during our ceramahs.

It also had successfully cut short the learning process for our young candidates to be able to quickly adapt to the change of Sarawak political landscape by YAB Chief Minister Adenan.

Therefore, SUPP must continue to organise such Public Forum as an avenue for us and public to share knowledge and concerns for the betterment of Sarawak.

The Parliamentary Election (GE14) is not far from now, so we must continue to move on.

Everyone of us including the Parliamentary potential candidates must continue to go down to the ground and be with the people. Show the people our sincerity while helping them, stay united and hard work.

My dream is to win all 7 Parliamentary Seats and to have elected SUPP MPs in the national stage fighting for our Sarawak Rights and Entitlements.

I want to touch on three core values which I think are important to our Party that all members must have towards our Party, that is Loyalty, Unity and Discipline.

For quite many years, our Party had gone through a very difficult and challenging time with attacks coming from all sides, especially right up to the recent Sarawak Election’s Nomination Day in April and during the campaign time.

On the contrary, the attacks by them towards our Party foster higher sense of loyalty and unity among our Party members and this has not only helped us to survive the election but to come back a lot stronger than before. For that, I would like to place on records our Party’s greatest gratitude and highest appreciation to you and all of the comrades throughout Sarawak for your continuous undivided loyalty and support to the Party.

In concluding my speech, allow me to leave you with a quote by Winston S. Churchill,   “When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”

Thank you and God Bless.

SA’ATI

Extract of text of speech by Secretary General, Datuk Sebastian Ting at SUPP Annual Delegates’ Conference 2016 in Kuching, Friday