Joint press statement by Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy and Civil Rights Committee of KL and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall on 19 Jan 2016.


Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy and Civil Rights Committee of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall urge the Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem to initiate the decentralisation process which is under the state’s jurisdiction instead of demanding the federal government to relinquish power to Sarawak state government.The two organizations state that Articles 95 and 76 of Federal Constitution provide that the federal government cannot enact laws on lands and local governments of Sabah and Sarawak, thus the Sarawak government can amend the state’s Local Authorities Ordinance 1996 to implement the local government election. This will show that the political alliance led by Adenan is not masquerading as pioneer of reform but walking the talk for institutional reform.

The two organizations support in principal the decentralization of political power and are of the view that state resources, education, official language and local government should fall under the jurisdiction of the state government while the federal taxes ought to be distributed fairly and justly to all state governments.

The two organizations note with regret that in the past 10 years under the previous leadership, Sarawak were subjected to innumerous problems  such as the  uncontrolled expansion of oil palm estate resulted in inequitable deprivation of native customary lands of indigenous people, the SCORE’s 12 mega dams project which had and still will mercilessly displace tens of thousands of  the indigenous people. The above instance are just a few to evident the arbitrary and draconian administration of the state government at the expense of the people’s right to land, right to live and their right to a safe and quality environment.

The two organizations strongly believe that  decentralisation of power and resource will not help to eradicate corrupt practices of the Sarawak government.

Therefore, instead of advocating decentralisation in the state assembly, the two organizations urge Adenan to lead the democratic process of implementing local government election, relinquish the state government’s power to a people elected autonomy for accountability and responsibility. Adenan’s bold and dynamic step of democratization will earn support from his people and carve a name for himself in Malaysia history. Hopefully this will drive Malaysia to another wave of democratization.