KUCHING, Jan 30: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing has the confidence that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will honour the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) while the opposition’s nominated Prime Minister should it win the coming general elections, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, will decide otherwise.
Masing not only believed that Dr Mahathir would object to it, he held the view that the latter would handle the issue in a high-handed manner.
Masing who is also Infrastructure Development and Transportation Minister pointed out that it would be to Sarawak’s benefit if Najib continued to be the prime minister.
“I am confident that the federal government under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib, will honour MA63. If this request had been made during Tun Mahathir’s time, it would have been viewed with disdain, hostility, treated as preposterous and high-handedly dismissed!
“Therefore, it would be to Sarawak’s benefit that Najib continue to stay as the Prime Minister as he is the first top Malaysian leader to have listened to our requests, and taken Sarawak’s needs and interests into consideration when making various decisions.
“As he is also the first prime Minister to have promised to let Sarawak reclaim back what is rightfully ours in MA63, we have faith that he will do what is required based on his track record.
“It is, therefore, to the benefit of ahli YBs, on both sides of the House and the people of Sarawak, for Barisan Nasional to win the coming election and Najib remain as our Prime Minister to fulfill his unfinished business.
“As for the alternative Prime Minister as proposed by the opposition, it will be a disaster for Sarawak!” said Masing while delivering his ministerial speech during the special sitting held in conjunction with the 150th Anniversary of the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) today.
He said Sarawak could not make the same mistake twice.
“You can never make the same mistake twice because the second time, it is not a mistake, it is a choice.
“Therefore, we do not agree with the opposition for suggesting that Tun Mahathir be the Prime Minister of Malaysia after PRU14 (14th General Election) should they win. We will not make the same mistake twice,” said Masing.
Masing noted the Sarawak Legislative Assembly was the oldest state council in Malaysia.
He reminded those present that Sarawak owed its past leaders for what Sarawak is today and thus their contributions should not be forgotten.
“Without our past leaders’ wisdom, hard work and dedication, Tuan Speaker, you and I will not be where we are today sitting in this fabulous August House under its magnificent décor.
“What they planted 150 years ago, we enjoy today. What they developed 150 years ago, we must continue to improve in the years ahead.
“As we discuss, as we argue the ways and means to improve this state of ours, let us not rock the boat too much or else all of us will perish due to our need to prove that we are better than our colleagues,” said Masing, who is also Parti Rakyat Sarawak president.
Masing also paid tribute to the unsung heroes who lost their lives to protect the dignity of Sarawak.
“In early 1960s during the confrontation with Indonesia, and in the 1970s when Sarawak was fighting the communist insurgents, Sarawak was on the brink of collapsing. If not for the bravery of our past leaders and soldiers, we would not be living in comfort, relative prosperity and peace today.
“Although some of our heroes are known and their names have gone down in history, there remains other lesser known heroes and heroines whose name have not been mentioned. Whether they are greater or lesser heroes and heroines, they have equally spilled their bloods and shed their tears for the betterment of Sarawak.
“To us, these heroes and heroines are second to none, and their sacrifices shall be remembered for generations to come,” he said. — DayakDaily