Sarawak urged to lift ban on Rewcastle-Brown

  • Metro News
  • Saturday, 26 May 2018

SIBU: State Reform Party president Lina Soo is urging the Sarawak government to allow Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown to visit the state.

Soo said the state government should not misuse its immigration autonomy for political purposes.

“That is not the image of a politically matured and democratic government that Sarawak should show to the world,” she said.

On Tuesday, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said Rewcastle-Brown’s name was still on the list of individuals banned from entering the state.

Rewcastle-Brown had reported on corruption among state leaders in the Sarawak Report portal.

“I hope the Sarawak government will lift the entry ban on Rewcastle-Brown immediately and allow her journey into Sarawak safely to enjoy the place she had lived in as a child,” she appealed.

As Rewcastle-Brown had declared her interest in Sarawak, Soo urged her to uncover the Malaysian government’s multiple breaches of Sarawak rights as had been set out in the Malaysia Agreement, and discover if this constitutes wilful discontinuance of the International Treaty – and if so, advocate remedial action for Sarawak.

Soo agreed with former soldier Fabian Wong who wanted Rewcastle-Brown to use her investigative skills to probe into the alleged failure of the British government to fulfil its trusteeship obligations to Sarawak following the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

Echoing Wong, Soo urged Rewcastle-Brown to look into the role played by the British in the formation of Malaysia at the expense of Sarawak.

“As Sarawak’s rights and territorial integrity were being transgressed over loss of its political status to being one of 13 states of the Federation, loss of its parliamentary veto power upon the departure of Singapore, loss of its rights over oil and gas in Sarawak, and loss of Sarawak’s international waters to the Federal government, Britain should have fulfilled its participative responsibility to ensure compliance of the Malaysia Agreement 1963,” she added.

Soo argued that the British government was the architect and principal signatory to the Malaysia Agreement for the surrender of Sarawak sovereignty to the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, and Britain cannot be a silent bystander as Sarawak, with its bountiful oil and gas reserves descended into one of the poorest regions.

Soo admitted that the British government did indeed put in “safeguards and protections” in the Malaysia Agreement, but it seemed many of these rights had been desecrated by the failure of the Federal government to honour them.

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