Motion on MA63 task force merely a smokescreen, says STAR

State Reform Party (STAR) president Lina Soo

KUCHING, Nov 10: The motion to form a high level task force to negotiate for the state’s rights is just another delaying tactic and shadow play by Barisan Nasional (BN) Sarawak to fish for votes, says State Reform Party Sarawak (STAR) president Lina Soo.

Expressing dismay at the motion on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) that was unanimously passed in the State Legislative Assembly yesterday, Soo said it was all puffery and mere lip service to hoodwink the rakyat into believing the state government is serious about restoring the state’s rights and powers.

“Why is there the need for a special task force to beg the federal government to set up a corresponding task force when all our state’s rights and powers are already spelt out in the Malaysia Agreement, sealed and signed but not delivered?” she said in a press statement today.

“What is a mandate which does not spell out and itemize specific tasks to perform without any timeline? If the Sarawak government is still not clear as to our state’s rights and powers, then the trip to London has been in vain and a waste of time, except to gull our people into continuing to be a vote bank for BN.”

She said the first step the Sarawak government must take is to ask for immediate execution and compliance of the Malaysia Agreement where all the state’s rights and powers are clearly defined and laid out in black and white.

“It is an international treaty and not subject to negotiation, unless all the signatories — UK, Malaya, Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore which left in 1965, return to the negotiating table.

“How can the Sarawak government ensure that the federal government will comply with the Malaysia Agreement, given that Sarawak gives away its resources with 1/3 economic support to the federation and always having to beg for a pittance in return?” asked Soo.

She claimed that the federal government has never shown its willingness to fulfill the terms of the Malaysia Agreement, as the federal government continues to flood Sarawak with non-Sarawakian teachers and civil servants in federal departments when there is no need even to have the federal department operating in Sarawak in the first instance. — DayakDaily