12 Dec (Bintulu) – On Sunday, 12th December 2010, at a PKR Pre-Christmas Dinner held in Bintulu, PKR’s recently elected Deputy President YB Mohd. Azmin Ali, spoke to a large dinner crowd consisting of about 300 party members and supporters.
Present were DAP’s YB Chiew Chin Sing, Sarawak PKR leader Baru Bian and several other party stalwarts.In his speech, which he lambasted the Sarawak BN and its leadership for its corruption and cronyism,
YB Azmin challenged the Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud to dissolve the Sarawak state assembly immediately if BN is so confident of its showing in the coming state polls.
In his rousing and fiery speech, YB Azmin also made a promise that got the 300-strong crowd onto its feet that turned into a five minute long standing ovation and applause. “Pakatan Rakyat akan memberi kuasa autonomi sepenuhnya kepada Sarawak sekiranya Pakatan Rakyat memenangi PRU13.” (Pakatan Rakyat will give full autonomy to Sarawak if we win at the 13th General Elections.)
YB Azmin went on to elaborate that “PR akan menghormati Perjanjian Malaysia semasa penubuhan Malaysia pada tahun 1963,” (PR will respect the Malaysia Agreement that was entered into at the formation of Malaysia in 1963) in reference to the 18 Point Agreement.
Clearly YB Azmin had tapped into the very issue that resonates with all Sarawakians, regardless of colour or creed.“Sabah dan Sarawak tidak masuk Malaysia. Sabah dan Sarawak menubuhkan Malaysia bersama Persekutuan Tanah Melayu,” (Sabah and Sarawak did not enter Malaysia. Sabah and Sarawak formed Malaysia together with the Federated States of Malaya) he added, to even more boisterous applause.
He ended his speech with a further promise, “Saya, Azmin, akan mempertahankan Sarawak dan membela orang orang Sarawak. ‘Agi idup agi ngelaban!’” (I, Azmin, will defend Sarawak and be an advocate of the peoples of Sarawak. “While I breathe, I hope!”) YB Azmin’s use of the famous Sarawakian quote, which is derived from the Latin ‘Dum spiro spero’ that was the family motto of the Brooke Rajahs, was nothing less than genius that fired the crowd.
After the dinner, PKR leader Baru Bian, when met, said “This is a very clear message and commitment from our national leaders and Pakatan Rakyat to the people of Sarawak. It is a resolute promise from PKR to right the wrong suffered by Sarawak due to the neglect and failure of the BN government and to restore and honour the agreement made by our forefathers 47 years ago.”
“All this while, local Sarawak parties have been harping on the point that only they can deliver what Sarawak and Sarawakians need. Let me reiterate our stance: it is not whether a party is locally based that matters but what the party is fighting for. This is paramount and crucial. PKR, although a national party, is concerned with local issues. YB Azmin’s declaration and promise very clearly shows that PKR at the national level understands local issues and will act on them and deliver to Sarawakians their greatest wish: full autonomy,” elaborated Bian.
“We urge all Sarawakians to unite and support Pakatan Rakyat because we are determined to redeem our rights that have been stolen from us for the last 47 years,” said Bian.
YB Mohd. Azmin Ali is on an East Malaysian tour, his first visit as PKR’s Deputy President.