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By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, April 30: Ripin Lamat (PBB-Lambir) says the issue of Sarawak’s equal status was only brought up recently due to the fear of emergency laws including the preventive detention law Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA).
He noted these emergency laws could be used to detain anyone without trial.
“Many have been detained under the ISA. That was the reason why issues like this (issues pursuant to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 or MA63) could not be brought up earlier,” said Ripin, in response to Palawan assemblyman David Wong who asked why Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) only raised the issue of fighting for the equal rights of Sarawak as enshrined under MA63 only recently and not earlier.
Ripin said this while debating on the motion to amend Federal Constitution tabled by Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Assistant Minister Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) today.
Ripin also took the opportunity to question Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Kota Sentosa) with regards to Pakatan Harapan (PH)’s failure to make good of promises made in its election manifesto.
“Pakatan (PH) promised that if they took over the government, it would return 50 per cent of the tax collected in Sarawak. Now Pakatan is almost one year in power — where is the 50 per cent tax?” asked Ripin.
Similarly, Ripin remarked that there was no return of the 20 per cent oil and gas royalty to Sarawak as promised in the PH manifesto.
“Now it is almost a year after you took over the government. Where is the 20 per cent? These were some promises that were made.
“There was also a promise that if you took over the government, the next day, the petrol price will go down to RM1.50 (per litre). Until now, there was no RM1.50? It was never seen,” said Ripin.
Ripin also questioned why federal government repeatedly said it lacked funds for projects for Sarawak, yet, it recently allocated funds for development projects exceeding RM2 billion in Sandakan and foranother extensive airport project in Kedah.
Ripin said due to the U-turns and the inconsistent attitude of the PH government, the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) MPs had turned down the Amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution in Parliament on April 9, 2019.
He said MA63 is the foundation of the formation of Malaysia and not the Federation of Malaya 1957, as in 1957, Malaysia was non-existent.
He thus concluded that MA63 should be upheld, and expressed his support for the motion tabled by Sharifah Hasidah. — DayakDaily