KUCHING, Dec 3: The people should not be taken in by the public spat between Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia and Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg as it is a ‘smokescreen’ to distract them from the core question of why Barisan Nasional (BN) has not chosen to rectify the wrong and restore Sarawak’s rightful status even though they have the authority to do so.
“While we strongly condemn the childish and shocking reaction by the Speaker on the Chief Minister as well as his ‘skewed’ interpretation of the Malaysian Agreement 1963 (MA63) and total disregard of our equal status under the Federation, the real issue that has to be focused on is the subject matter itself which is our rightful rights under the agreement and how the Barisan Nasional government has eroded it from it and deprived us of our rightful developments and riches.
“The question should not be should or should not there be a debate, but rather why until now there are no efforts by the ruling Barisan Nasional government to recognise our rightful status. Fact of the matter is, until now, no senior Minister’s or even the Prime Minister has come out and condemn or point out Pandikar Amin’s ‘skewed’ interpretation,” said Dr Kelvin Yii who is the special assistant to Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen, in a press statement today.
He drew parallels between the current spat and the earlier one between federal Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz and Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah with regards to the implementation of the Tourism Tax.
“Even with the highly publicised spat, the reality is, nothing much came out of it as the tax was also implemented and Sarawak only got a mere 10 per cent of the return, in comparison to the demanded 30 per cent.
“That is why it is important, that we are not caught up with the ‘smokescreen’ and public drama that is happening and throw the ball back to Barisan Nasional on why until now there have been little to no progress on our negotiations with the federal government with regards to our rights even though multiple motions since 2014 have been passed unanimously in the State Assembly including the recent motion to set up a so-called special taskforce to replace the previous taskforce, on top of the highly publicised and public-funded fact-finding mission on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 trip to London by the state’s legal team,” said Yii.
He added that all these may just be a political ploy and an act to score political points as well as to distract the people of Sarawak from issues that really matter especially in view of the coming General Election (GE14).
“This election is not about a ‘public-spat’ nor a ‘name-calling game’, but rather on real issues that affect us including the ever-increasing cost of living, the degradation of our education standards, the oppression of the rights of minorities, the ever-increasing national debt, the rampant systemic corruption in the country, ever degrading reputation of our country on the international stage and of course, the lost of our rightful status under the Malaysian Agreement 1963.
“With that said, with it is important we stand against the arrogance of UMNO/Barisan Nasional. It is more important not to get distracted by the ‘smokescreen’ of all the drama, but focus on the fundamental issue which is not only have BN Sarawak not upheld the interest of the people, but they are empowering and supporting a government which is not only bankrupt morally, but also due to prolong corruption, wastage and bad governance, has dried up our country’s coffers.” — DayakDaily