It was due to the failure of the Sarawak BN component parties to fight for our rights and demand for proper development that has caused Sarawak to be left behind in terms of development, not just the fault of one man alone.
Now that Dr Mahathir Mohamad was named the prime minister candidate for Pakatan Harapan if we take over, there are many quarters from BN who started accusing us of abandoning our principles and also supporting the man who allegedly deprived us of our resources and also proper development when he was in power for 22 years.
While we do not defend some of the things that Mahathir did, it is important for SUPP, PBB and BN Sarawak not to mislead the public on their responsibility to uphold the interests of Sarawak and demand proper development from the prime minister of the time, and not conveniently throw the blame on that one man for their own failures.
Mahathir was the prime minister of Malaysia for 22 years, and as the prime minister, he will need the help of all his cabinet members and BN members of parliament as well as the government to inform him of all the needs and interests of each state.
Whether it is the need for more resources, development or even our rights as enshrined under the Malaysian Agreement 1963, it is the responsibility of our Sarawakian BN members to inform the prime minister and fight for them as they are in the ruling government.
Since there was no or little objection from our BN Sarawak members and also the strong support for BN in Sarawak, the assumption by the prime minister at that time was that maybe everything was fine in the state.
Thus, the focus and blame should not be fully on the actions of this one man, but rather on the whole BN Sarawak that had the full responsibility of upholding our rights and interest but failed.
Now that Mahathir has joined the opposition, they have suddenly changed their tone and started blaming him for their own failures.
They are the ones that abandoned their own principles in the beginning and have now made a 'u-turn' and blame it on one man.
Fact of matter is, we in Harapan never abandoned our principles. We still fight for our state's rights, fight against corruption and fight for the reformation of the institutions even until now.
Our message and principles did not change, it was Mahathir that now sees that we are right and now promotes the reforms that we have been promoting since the beginning.
The difference that we bring is that in Harapan, although Mahathir may be the prime ministerial candidate, he is now closely watched and pressured by the other component parties including DAP, PKR and Amanah to ensure the interests of Sarawak are taken care of unlike in BN where all parties are subservient to Umno.
Thus, it is important we remember who are the ones that betrayed their oath to uphold the interests of the people of Sarawak even though they were part of the ruling government.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.