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A reader sent me an email to enquire why Sarawak cannot secede itself from Malaysia and become an independent nation like Singapore. The same query has also been making the round on Internet postings in Sarawak, behind the safe veil of anonymity.

It is a tabooed subject in the nation’s public sphere. But I feel that our nation’s citizens are mature enough to discuss this issue openly, without resorting to panic mongering and witch-hunting.

Because of the lack of public discussion, we do not know how rampant this sentiment is. I have heard of talk pointing to Brunei as an illustration. The Sultan of Brunei decided not to join Malaysia in 1963, preferring to become an independent nation on its own. Today, because of the wealth from oil and gas, the Sultan of Brunei is the richest man in the world, and the wealth of the Brunei people is the envy of Asia.

The rhetorical question is: if Brunei can do it, why not Sarawak and Sabah?

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