KUCHING, Nov 28: The Barisan Nasional (BN) government’s empty promises on recognising the state’s rights is mere rhetoric and election talk, and is not legally binding, says Dr Kelvin Yii.
Yii, a special assistant to Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen, said the BN government had all the power to rectify the situation if they wanted so from the beginning by tabling a motion in Parliament.
However, he opined BN will be just be beating around the bush, playing politics and speaking to the wall, which was clearly shown after the recent statement by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Zahid had reportedly called on all politicians to stop politicising and manipulating facts on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) on top of endorsing Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia’s book “Berpisah Tiada” to correct wrong and negative perceptions to counter what he claims were numerous studies conducted by previous analysts on the rights of Sabah and Sarawak which had elements of bias and prejudice.
Yii said Zahid is not the right person to head a federal task force to negotiate matters relating to the state’s special rights and constitutional safeguards.
“This speaks volumes of Zahid’s endorsement of such a skewed interpretation and thus puts in question the intention of the Sarawak state government to negotiate with the Deputy Prime Minister and the Barisan Nasional federal government who clearly does not have the intention to recognise our rightful status as well as acknowledge the rights that were stolen from us by the federal government,” said Yii in a statement today.
In his book, Pandikar rubbished claims that East and West Malaysia were meant to be equal territories when the federation was formed. He even went further to say that the rights of the state were never eroded in the first place, even with the constitutional amendments in 1976 to downgrade Sabah and Sarawak to the 12th and 13th Malaysian states which was supported by all the BN MPs from Sabah and Sarawak.
“His calls to not politicise such issues is also misguiding as this is clearly a political issue. The rightful recognition of our rights and constitutional amendments are acts of parliaments and thus political in nature.
“Is he then trying to threaten the people of Sabah and Sarawak against talking about such issues and bringing up the misdeeds and mistakes of the Barisan Nasional government when it comes to our rights?”
Just recently, the State Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a ministerial motion on MA63 giving a mandate to the state government to form a high-level special task force to negotiate with the federal government to resolve all outstanding issues related to compliance and upholding of the constitutional safeguards and special rights accorded to Sarawak in accordance with the terms, intent and spirit of MA63.
Yii pointed out that on the contrary, opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan in their manifesto have clearly stated their recognition of MA63 as well as the rights belonging to the state on top of offering a “New Deal” for further benefit of the state. — DayakDaily