Dr M’s stand on secession talk not a `threat’ — SUPP Women chief

Kho Teck Wan

KUCHING, July 5: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Women chief Kho Teck Wan does not see Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s reaction to calls for Sarawak’s secession from the federation as a “threat”.

“Personally, I don’t think it is a threat. In fact, I think it is the standard reply to inform Parliament and the rakyat about the series of laws that are applicable when incidence that jeopardises public order occurs,” she said in a statement today.

She was commenting on news reports that quoted Dr Mahathir as saying that Putrajaya would only use the Sedition Act in extreme cases — where such calls jeopardise the country’s security and public order.

Kho believed the Sarawak government and Sarawakian were very clear on their demands for autonomies, the share of resources, as well as monetary compensations.

“We are doing it through the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) steering committee in peaceful negotiations.

“Certain quarters in Sarawak are asking for a referendum should the negotiations fail, which, in my opinion, is also a very democratic way of seeking public opinion without jeopardising public order.

“Sarawakians, as peace-loving people, have matured over the years and our smart lawmakers and citizens will figure a way to fight for what is rightfully ours,” she said.

In addition, she said the prime minister’s reply to Parliament indicated there is no provision in the Federal Constitution, MA63 and the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report that touched on any rights by Sabah and Sarawak to secede from Malaysia.

“Likewise, in my humble opinion, the Federal Constitution, MA63 and IGC Report do not have any clause that prevented Sabah and Sarawak to secede from Malaysia, either.

“My opinion echoes Tun Dr Mahathir’s speech in New York last September, where he told Malaysians residing in the US that there is no provision in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) for Sabah and Sarawak cannot ask for independence,” she said. — DayakDaily