FRANCIS PAUL SIAH,
|No wonder he supports Hamas|
Don’t take the Borneo territories for granted and don’t force things down our throats! We detest it.
As a Sarawakian, I can say for a fact that we are poles apart on certain issues, particularly those related to religious extremism. No, Sarawak does not want anything to do with wars and conflicts involving terrorists, violence and deaths abroad.
The Middle-East conflict has nothing to do with us in Sarawak. If two tribes 8000km away cannot get along, are bent on killing each another with no intention to make peace for decades, we say good luck to them. Let us not be busybodies and poke our nose into the affairs of others.
I have made my point very clear on the Mid-East conflict right from the start in early October. If Malaysia really wants to help, let us play the peacemaker role and assist in finding solutions. By taking sides, we become part of the problem.
I find it absurd that Malaysia also called for a ceasefire later into the conflict and also intends to join the UN peacekeeping force.
The prime minister has declared to the world that Malaysia supports Hamas. Once that stand is taken, who will listen to your ceasefire call which is contradicting your earlier support for one side in the conflict. Malaysia should have called for a ceasefire at the very beginning.
I’m also not sure that sending our troops for peacekeeping duties at this stage is a good idea, especially after Malaysia has earned the wrath of powerful allies connected with the conflict.
This time, I’m particularly concerned for the safety of our soldiers as Malaysia is not viewed as neutral in the conflict. I hope our defence ministry will skip the peacekeeping effort but assist the victims of war in other ways.
On the refugee issue, I must applaud my dear friend and fellow Sarawakian, Peter John Jaban, for calling on the government to properly vet asylum seekers from Palestine to ensure that militant and radical elements are not allowed entry.
Indeed, the Sarawak government should safeguard its autonomy over immigration control, even as Anwar continued to show support for Hamas.
Jaban speculated that Anwar’s continuing support for Hamas “suggests there will be little attempt to properly vet asylum seekers from Palestine”, which he said carried a risk of entry by radicalised and violent factions.
I’m very pleased that Works Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi has also voiced his opposition to allowing Palestinian refugees into Sarawak.
He was quoted by the DayakDaily as saying that “Sarawak does not need to accept any refugees, particularly those from countries known for violence, anger and hatred”.
The minister said Sarawak should focus on its socio-economic development, prioritising the needs of its own population.
“We are just a small country, we cannot be burdened by refugees. We still have many poor people of our own who need our full attention and care.”
However, Nanta, who is also Gabungan Parti Sarawak secretary-general, urged those with the financial means to assist war victims by purchasing essential supplies for them.
I hope the prime minister gets the message from Sarawakians loud and clear.
Perhaps Anwar should also be mindful that a prime minister's responsiveness to the people's views is not just a matter of political courtesy; it is a fundamental aspect of democratic governance that ensures the government remains accountable and responsive to the needs and aspirations of the people.
Anwar, if you wish to be known as an international Islamist hero (now that we know it is an obsession of yours), go ahead. Just don’t drag Sarawak and Sabah into your personal grand scheme of things; we want no part of it.
Sarawak does not have a camp for refugees and I don’t think the government and people of Sarawak will ever want to take in refugees from anywhere. So, please do not think that I’m only singling out Palestinian refugees. It so happens that they are the subject under discussion here.
It’s not that we, Sarawakians, are not compassionate to those who are suffering but I think we are only being sensible and realistic.
Sarawak has its fair share of the needy and destitute and we believe that charity should begin at home.