KUCHING: Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak has been told not be too quick to take credit for the restoration of equal partnership between Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya.

A political secretary to the Chief Minister, Tan Kai said if real credit were to be given, there would be a string of people who deserve it and he doubted that PH Sarawak would even be on the list.

Tan Kai reckoned that the person who should be given the credit was the late Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem who woke up all Sarawakians to the fact that their rights and autonomy have been greatly diminished.

“Sarawak was both sleepy and sleeping for 40 years and it was Adenan who woke up the people and announced July 22 as Sarawak Independence Day to ensure that future generations know the significance of the date,” he said.

Due to his persistence and perseverance in getting back Sarawak’s autonomy, the late chief minister took the lead in the state election of 2016 and won 72 out of 82 seats for the state Barisan Nasional (BN).

Tan Kai also figured that a non-governmental organisation called SOS should also get credit for educating Sarawakians on their rights.

Talks and seminars on Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) were held to help Sarawakians understand the language of the pact, especially the part which states that Sarawak … formed Malaysia, implying that Sarawak did not join Malaysia because it was impossible to have joined an organisation that had not been formed.

“Our current Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari is continuing Adenan’s policies, especially the MA63 technical committee meeting, where he put his foot down,” said Tan Kai.

Abang Johari stressed that there are a few areas which Sarawak will not bring to the negotiation table. These are immigration autonomy, land, state boundaries, and natural resources on and under the land and sea.

“I feel optimistic that the federal government has made efforts to restore Sarawak’s position as an equal partner. In addition to the above, we should also get back our autonomy over education and healthcare,” he said.