KUCHING, Jan 14 — The “Sarawak First” slogan adopted by the ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) does not mean that the state wants to break up the federation of Malaysia to become a separate nation, Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg said last night.
He said there was no question of a secession as Sarawak had agreed to and signed the Malaysia Agreement back in 1963 to form a federation.
“The slogan means we take care of our house first,” he said at a town hall session organised in conjunction with his seventh year in office first as the chief minister and then the premier of Sarawak here last night.
But he admitted that there were certain groups in Sarawak that were pushing for it to become an independent nation.
“It is not that easy to become an independent country.
“What we really need is a strong united Malaysia,” he said, adding that he and colleagues in the state government subscribe to this principle.
He said that if Sarawak is strong, Malaysia naturally will be strong.
He added that it cannot be denied that Sarawak contributes to Malaysia’s strength.
He also pointed out that it was because of GPS that a federal government could be formed under the prime ministership of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
“What we want is fairness,” he said.
He said the state just wants the federal government to recognise and honour Sarawak’s rights.
“But there are people who have taken our rights and we want those rights to be returned to us,” he added.