Winston Way

An independent online poll has shown that Sarawakians are not supportive of Pakatan Rakyat’s objections to an independent Sarawak.

A recent independent online survey showed that 95% of those polled voted for Sarawak to move out of the Federation of Malaysia.

The 10-day poll commencing Feb 14 to Feb 24 was organised by Facebook page Hornbill Talks and attracted the participation of 2,107 voters.

The poll sought to get public opinions on whether they supported calls for Sarawak to secede through referendum or remain in the federation of Malaysia.

An overwhelming number voted for an independent Sarawak.

Participants were asked one simple question and asked to tick their answers. The question and answer options were:  “If a referendum were to be carried out in Sarawak within the next six months, you will choose – i) Remaining in Malaysia, ii) Independence or iii) Undecided”.

The poll was done in  English, Malay, Iban and Mandarin, the four common languages spoken in Sarawak.

In the Hornbill Talks Facebook page, it was stated that only three percent or 54 of the 2,107 participants voted for “Remaining in Malaysia”, while 95% percent voted for “Independence”, and two percent or 47 were “undecided”

Hornbill Talks also stated that among the participants “approximately 90 percent of them live in Malaysia. The rest of them live in other countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, and so on.

“In Malaysia, approximately 1,400 votes came from Malaya, 960 votes came from Sarawak and 30 votes from Sabah. In Malaya, approximately 980 votes came from Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

“The rest, which accounts for 30 percent of the votes, roughly 420 participants live in other major cities such as Penang, Johor Bharu and Ipoh,” noted Hornbill Talks in its FB post dated Mar 11.

Sarawak wants a referendum

It also claimed that based on the poll results and the statistics gathered, the majority of the participants supported the idea of independence if given a choice for a referendum.

“More participants came from Malaya than Sarawak, possibly because of the poor infrastructure in Sarawak, and therefore many (in Sarawak) had no access to the Internet.

“Another reason could be that most of the intellectuals and those being tech-savvy from Sarawak have moved to Malaya to work or further their studies.

“Most of the Sarawakians living in Malaya who voted stay around Kuala Lumpur area and the Klang Valley.

“The rest are living in major cities such as Johor Baru, Penang, Ipoh and Kuantan. This also gives a strong support to the reason above,” Hornbills Talks noted.

However, there was no clear percentage of the total number of Sarawakians or non-Sarawakians who took part in the polls.

The polls were totally open to the public on Facebook although the organizers insisted that “it was well promoted in numerous Sarawak Facebook groups”.

“In Sarawak, one very interesting phenomenon can be observed. Majority of the participants, surprisingly, came from the central district of Sarawak, which includes Sibu, Mukah and Bintulu.  Approximately 600 of the votes came from these areas in the central region (of Sarawak).

“Other than that, the southern district of Sarawak came second, with roughly 300 of the participants living in this area, majority of them in Kuching.

“The rest, which accounts for less than 100 votes, came from the northern region, which includes Miri and Limbang,” said the post.

No support for Pakatan’s view

Main force behind the poll,  FB user Beng Kor  told FMTBorneoplus about the unanticipated large number of pro-independence voters from central Sarawak.

“This is in contrast to what we expected. As we know, the central region is a strong DAP and Pakatan Rakyat stronghold in Sarawak.

“Now we know Pakatan Rakyat and their supporters are generally against the idea of Sarawak independence,” Beng Kor opined, in reference of PKR Sarawak chairman Baru Bian’s recent warning that talks about Sarawak’s secession from Malaysia as ‘treason’.

Several key Pakatan Rakyat members and supporters recently had openly voiced their dissatisfaction about the rising sense of nationalism within Sarawak.

A pro-Pakatan Facebook group, “Sarawak Autonomy Movement” was also launched to counter the increasingly popular and well-received nationalist group of Sarawak Sovereignth Movement (SSM).

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