KUCHING, Jan 4: Sarawak’s rights as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) cannot be negotiated.
In fact, the state government must demand that Sarawak’s status be restored to its original standing, asserted Cobbold John Lusoi, president of Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB).
In a statement today, Cobbold expressed his dissatisfaction with the outcome of the inaugural special cabinet committee meeting on MA63, which was revealed by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg yesterday.
Among others, Abang Johari said the state government laid down four non-negotiable and five negotiable items at the meeting.
The non-negotiable items are (a) immigration autonomous power, (b) rights to enforce state law in accordance with the Federal Constitution, (c) state border protection, and (d) sovereignty over the sea, underground and its resources within the state.
The five issues that the state government wants to discuss are: (1) the need to review special allocation to Sarawak and Sabah under Item 112D of the Federal Constitution, (2) rights for additional financial resources under the Tenth Scheduled List of the Federal Constitution, (3) residual power under Item 77 of the Federal Constitution, (4) returning of land that is no longer needed by the federal government placed under the Federal Land Commission to Sarawak, and (5) the implementation of federal power in education, medical and health which are unsatisfactory.
“The state government has firmly stated in the past that all rights belonging to Sarawak under MA63 are not negotiable. So why are there five issues opened for negotiation?” asked Cobbold.
“Aren’t MA63 supposed to be restored back to its original state after the proclamations for the State of Emergency has been lifted? Why the need to negotiate when all issues mentioned are Sarawak autonomous rights, something that is rightfully belonged to Sarawak?”
Cobbold advised Abang Johari not to take the “no reply” as silent consent from the federal government in accepting the non-negotiable rights presented.
“How can they assume silent means they have accepted at this crucial juncture? Obviously, they (federal) are silent because they are worried and conscious that if they agreed, they will not be able to hold onto the exclusive rights belonging to Sarawak anymore,” he reckoned.
If an agreement cannot be reached and the federal government does not honour their words, he questioned if the Sarawak government would consider taking legal action or take the drastic move by seceding from Malaysia. — DayakDaily