Activist suggests how GPS can right the wrong regarding MA63

Zainnal sharing his thoughts on MA63 at a hotel in Kuching.

KUCHING, July 21: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) must right the wrong in the past and should now focus on demanding its rights back from Putrajaya as enshrined under Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), said MA63 activist Zainnal Ajamain.

He said this is possible because Sarawak is governed by GPS and independent from the Pakatan Harapan (PH)-led federal government.

“This is how I see it. I may get into trouble because of this. (But) I think GPS is more (towards) doing politics. When you talk about MA63, it has nothing to do with politics — it’s about rights. So don’t play politics. Don’t try to use this to drag…drag things (as) it has everything to do with rights. And right now, you are in a good position to tell KL/Putrajaya) off,” Zainnal told a press conference at a hotel here today.

Zainnal, who is a Sabahan, pointed out that should Sarawak proceed with its demands, Putrajaya would give in as both Sarawak and Sabah were signatories of MA63.

“You have heard how Petronas had said in a recent statement that (both) the Continental Shelf and the oil and gas (it contains) belong to it. But, all the facts of law point to the direction that the oil and gas belongs to Sarawak and Sabah,” he stressed.

He pointed out that Sarawak under GPS should be able to demand from the federal government its rights as it is governing Sarawak with the strong backing of its people as proven with the fact that it controls 72 out of 82 seats in the State Legislative Assembly.

“You (GPS) are in power and (Sarawak) is one of the signatories of MA63. So Putrajaya cannot say no to what you say. That is your power. So that power should be used. Stop that politicking. Let’s get back the rights and we in Sabah get back our rights,” he reiterated.

Zainnal, who was invited by Sarawak For Sarawakians (S4S) activists here to speak said he was ever ready to come and assist Sarawak’s politicians and civil servants to understand their rights.

When asked why Sarawakians have allowed themselves to be shortchanged by Putrajaya, Zainnal identified three reasons why it happened, before the MA63 movement begun in 2014. The three reasons are: Sarawak leaders’ lack of education during the early formation of Malaysia; the enactments of the Emergency Act 1969 and existence of the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA); and the unavailability of vital MA63 documents which include the Inter-Governmental Committee Report.

“The ground movement (of MA63) was made real when the late (Pehin Sri) Tan Sri Adenan Satem became Chief Minister (of Sarawak). He had a method of doing this,” he said, adding that people did not recognise it at the time.

The late Adenan passed away from heart ailment at the Sarawak Heart Centre, on January 11, 2017. He was appointed the fifth Chief Minister of Sarawak on Feb 28, 2014 after former Chief Minister Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud relinquished the post after 33 years in office and was subsequently appointed as Sarawak’s seventh Governor on March 1, 2014.

Meanwhile, Zainnal also described former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as a leader who was responsible for repealing the Emergency Ordnance and ISA on November 24, 2011.

“He had wanted to be a global leader and to be seen as a moderate. That’s why after he lifted the Emergency Ordinance and ISA, the ground (movement) for the people to demand for greater rights as contained in MA63, had actually started,” stressed Zainnal.