“Late Zainnal helped to spark Sarawakians’ awareness over rights under MA63”

Seen are the late Zainnal (left) and Chang (right) during their courtesy call on Adenan (seated centre) in 2015.

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By Jaythaleela K

MIRI, Oct 10: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) has lost a ‘dear friend’ in the passing of Borneo activist Zainnal Ajamain this morning.

In a statement, SUPP secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew said the late Zainnal was truly a dear friend to the party and even though he was a Sabahan, he had contributed much to Sarawak especially in creating awareness among Sarawakians on the formation of Malaysia, Malaysia Agreement 1963, the Inter-Governmental Committee (ICG) Report, the Cobbold Commission, the Malaysia Act (Chapter 35) and the State’s special rights in the Federal Constitution.


“The late Zainnal first got in contact with SUPP through our party member Philip Chang of Pending branch,” Ting recalled.

“I still vividly remember the first time I met the late Zainnal in November 2015. I asked him on the reason why he got in touch or in contact with our party SUPP. Why SUPP?

“He replied and said that he knew the history of SUPP well. It was the fighting spirit of SUPP demanding for independence of Sarawak then, since its formation on 6th June 1959 that attracted him to get in touch with SUPP.”

Ting revealed that after discussions, SUPP organised and invited Zainnal as the sole speaker for a forum in Kuching on November 22, 2015 titled “A Missing Piece of Our History – Setting The Direction For The Borneo States”.

“It touched on our state’s safeguards in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and how Petronas (Petroliam Nasional Berhad) took our oil and gas resources using emergency powers, and others,” he said.

He said SUPP was impressed by the late Zainnal’s vast knowledge on the State’s rights and from the feedback they received by those who attended.

This forum was followed by several more forums in Kuching, Miri, Sibu and Bintulu to promote and create awareness throughout Sarawak, in tandem with the call from the late Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem to the federal government to respect the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and return Sarawak’s eroded state rights, Ting added.

“Indeed on the 24th November 2015, the late Zainnal and Philip Chang made a courtesy on our late Tok Nan (Adenan) and spent one hour exchanging their thoughts and views.

“We were fortunate and very grateful that Encik Zainnal agreed to be the guest speaker in all of our forums to help out in promoting MA63 and the other three documents throughout Sarawak. Many Sarawakians would agree that some of his ideas were thought-provoking,” he said.

“Many Sarawakians may agree with us if we say that we are blessed to have a person like Encik Zainnal who selflessly dedicated some of his time to inform Sarawak of its rights, because before him, no one rarely or ever mentioned about MA63, IGC Report, Cobbold Commission and Malaysia Act 1963 (Chapter 35),” Ting said, adding Zainnal was never a politician, only a true activist championing MA63 and the rights of the Borneo States.

“I called and spoke to Miss Ceilla this morning to convey my party’s and my deepest Condolences to his family members. She is Zainnal’s relative who always accompanied him to Sarawak and she told me of the parting words of the late Zainnal: ‘please be strong and continue the journey to get back all the eroded rights as contained in MA63’,” Ting said.

“Indeed Sabah and Sarawak should be united or must be united to work together and get back our eroded State’s rights and natural resources as enshrined by the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the Federal Constitution.

“Lastly we pray for his beloved family members to stay strong during this difficult time. May his soul rest in peace.” — DayakDaily