Govt urged to reveal outcome of first phase of negotiations over S’wak’s rights

Dr Kelvin Yii, special assistant to Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen

KUCHING, Jan 15: A state DAP leader has urged Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to reveal the outcome and progress of negotiations with the federal government with regards to the restoration of state rights enshrined in the Malaysian Agreement 1963.

“Since the first phase of the negotiations has been completed as reported, why not reveal what was discussed and the outcome of the negotiations? Wouldn’t this give better assurance to the people of Sarawak that the negotiations actually took place and that the BN (Barisan Nasional) government is sincere in returning our rights? Why the silence or lack of disclosure?” asked Dr Kelvin Yii, special assistant to Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen.

Despite the federal government’s assurance, Yii claimed that inaction and silence with regards to the progress, shows otherwise and speaks volume of the insincerity of the federal BN government

Yii is also puzzled over Abang Johari’s recent statement claiming that the special committee that was set up to proceed with the talk over Sarawak’s second phase of devolution of power from Putrajaya can function only when the federal government has determined its representative, and that they are now going in to the second phase of devolution of powers that touches on Sarawak’s constitutional rights.

Yii pointed out that Abang Johari’s statement is contrary to what was said by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Dato Sri Nancy Shukri, the previous co-chairman of the Steering Committee appointed by the Sarawak State government tasked for the negotiations, on Oct 5, 2017.

Nancy had reportedly claimed that negotiations for the second stage over devolution of powers from the federal government to Sarawak are already ongoing and that they have submitted a technical report to the Attorney General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali with regards to this matter, three months before, assuming in July 2017 after the much publicized trip to London.

“Even after almost six months, we have yet to hear a reply from the federal government. Fact is, the federal government has not even appointed a representative to come talk to the state even after so long. The question we need to ask, does it really take so long just to appoint a representative?” Yii questioned in a statement today.

Yii added that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s response and ‘blackmail’ on the matter when he visited Sarawak recently shows that he is more interested to win the coming general election for his own self-interest rather than honouring what is rightfully Sarawak’s in the first place.

“No political propaganda, fancy slogan or fiery speech in the state can restore our rights, but the fact that BN Sarawak is shying away from their authority either shows that they are insincere in demanding back what is ours, or that they are toothless and subservient to the wishes of UMNO-BN,” he said. — DayakDaily