MIRI: The tremendous response to the Sarawak rights-Malaysia Agreement roadshow in Miri is prompting organisers to consider bringing it to Kuala Lumpur.
The three-hour talk on the autonomous rights of Sarawak and the finer points of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 in Miri on Sunday drew a big crowd.
For three hours, more than a thousand people from all races and ages cramped into the Pustaka Miri library hall to listen to several historians, politicians and social rights activist presenting their talks.
Among the guest-speakers at the event were historian and author Zainal Ajamain, social activist Lina Soo, Sarawak rights advocators Datuk Idris Buang, Datuk David Teng and Datuk Sebastian Ting.
Ting is secretary-general of the Sarawak United Peoples Party (SUPP), the party that organised the public forum.
The crowd were made up of ordinary folk, students, teachers, civil servants, business circles and politicians from different political parties.
Also on show were books with copies of the original documents and wordings of the Malaysia Agreement and also the inter-government report on the formation of Malaysia.
These documents spelled out the rights of Sarawak, Sabah, Malaya and Singapore as the four sovereign partners that formed Malaysia.
Outside the hall, crowds of people were seen signing on a banner demanding Putrajaya to return the rights to Sarawak and Sabah.
Ting told The Star later that SUPP were caught by surprise by the overwhelming response.
“We expected the forum to draw a sizeable crowd but it drew a crowd of beyond full capacity. There were no seats left and all standing room were taken.
The tremendous response shows that these issues on Sarawak rights as spelled out in the Malaysia Agreement are garnering increasing interest. People of all age groups and races and backgrounds including students and youths are getting more keen in this topic. This is a very encouraging sign. So far, SUPP has organised such talks in Kuching, Sibu and Miri and due to the fantastic response we are thinking of holding such talks in Kuala Lumpur soon,” Ting said.
There are thousands of Sarawakians working and studying in Kuala Lumpur, he stressed.
Ting said SUPP will liase with Sarawakians in Kuala Lumpur to hold such a forum there.