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Change for Sarawak as a partner in the Federation

I would like to extend my warmest wishes to my fellow Malaysians who celebrated Hari Sarawak on 22 July 2015.

Since helping to form the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, Sarawak has been an integral part of our country.

Indeed, Malaysia as a whole has benefited from Sarawak’s great diversity and pluralism.

The state is a shining example of all that Malaysia can be, especially in terms of communal relations.

Of course, it is also true that many Sarawakians feel that Malaysia has not lived up to its ideals and that the state has not prospered as it should have.

The Federal authorities should not penalise the different opinions of the Sarawak people no matter how disagreeable it may be.

However, it is my firm belief that the future of Sarawak—and Malaysia as a whole—can only be assured if it remains as a part of the Federation.

A more just and equitable Malaysia cannot come about without all its peoples working together in unison.

KEADILAN—for its part—is committed to seeing the realization of the 2012 Kuching Declaration, which pledged “…to honour the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 which our Founding Fathers put their hands to”, including restoring Sarawak and Sabah as equal partners in the Federation, fair representation, resolving the citizenship issue, restoring native customary rights over land, endorsing the appointment of Sarawak and Sabah citizens to head Government Departments in their own respective States, oil justice and equitable development.

Indeed, we believe that greater federalism across the board will result in greater and more sustainable prosperity for all Malaysians.

We must never forget that Malaysia is first and foremost a federation.

This requires not only unity and common purpose, but also mutual respect and a relentless quest for the common good.

I again wish my fellow Malaysians in the east Selamat Hari Sarawak and look forward to celebrating Hari Malaysia with them on 16 September 2015.