DAP said it will strive to regain Sarawak equality in the formation of Malaysia with Malaya in a declaration after the party convention in Bintulu today.
“After 51 years Sarawak is now reduced to one of the 13 states in Federation of Malaysia instead of its equal founding partners says,” DAP said in the declaration titled “2014 DAP Bintulu Declaration – Towards Equal Partners” .
The party said when Sarawak agreed to form Malaysia, it was vision of a country where all are equal and free.
However political patronage, corruption and cronyism in the system have impoverished majority of its population, leaving the state’s wealth in the hands a few.
DAP aims to restore the equal partners status of Sarawak in the Federation of Malaya in Malaysia and to create environment of fairness, where state’s wealth will be distributed equitably and fairly among all Sarawakians.
DAP said given the current level of development in the state which lag far behind West Malaysia, Sarawak needs more affirmative measures in order to achieve true meaning of equal partner status in Malaysia.
Apart from seeking equal partner status, Bintulu Declaration also seeks to review the Ninth Schedule of Federal Constitution to devolve powers of education and healthcare to Sarawak.
DAP said Sarawak should be given partial autonomy over its own police force and for Federal government to create a new Ministry that handles Sarawak Affair, making the final decision on all Federal matters in relation to or affecting the state.
The Federal Government should uplift the status of Chief Judge of Sarawak and Sabah to be at par with Chief Judge of Malaya, autonomy over budget and administrative matters, the party said.