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By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, April 15: Sarawak Association for People’s Aspirations (Sapa) is calling on all concerned Sarawakians to join its ‘Negara Sarawak Rally’ scheduled to be held at Padang Merdeka here on April 28.
Sapa publicity and information chief Peter John Jaban said the rally was scheduled to start at 4pm to demand for the restoration of the status of Sarawak and Sabah according to the terms of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and that the proposed constitutional amendment is to be re-drafted to reflect the Borneo States as ‘Negara’, as they were up until 1976.
“We demand that the Sarawak government move a motion to debate the issue in the forthcoming State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting. We are holding the rally on April 28 for that purpose,” he told a press conference here today.
Peter John told members of the state Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) to stop pointing fingers at each other while the rakyat is being sidelined and not knowing what was going on.
“Stop pointing fingers in the media, whereby we as the rakyat are in limbo. We don’t know what is going on. We want it to be more transparent,” he said.
Peter John said the rally might also be held during one of the DUN sessions and participants might even walk all the way across Darul Hana Bridge to the DUN complex until members of the august House debate on the matter.
“So, if on Sunday (April 28) we do the rally, but if nothing happens, (then on Monday during the DUN sitting) we will send another letter to say we are going to do another rally during the DUN sitting period.
“Could be on April 29, 30 or maybe May 1. We walk go across (from Padang Merdeka to the Darul Hana Bridge and to the DUN complex). We don’t know,” he said.
Peter John urged the state lawmakers to listen to the voices of the rakyat as well as their aspirations, as it was about them and Sarawak, not just a political game being played between PH and GPS.
Meanwhile, Sapa past president Lina Soo argued that Sarawak had been a sovereign nation when it joined Malaysia, and, therefore, should not be called or treated as a state.
She said according to the Malaysia Bill after the MA63, Article 4 pointed out that the Borneo States in English could refer to a nation or a province. However, according to the Federal Constitution, the Bahasa Malaysia version would prevail over the English version, which would mean that Negeri-Negeri Borneo is the same as any other states in Malaya.
“We have another annexure, the constitution of the state of Sabah. It says in Article 1 that the Sabah Head of State is to be called Yang Dipertua Negara. Similarly, to Singapore at the time, its Head of State to be called Yang Dipertua Negara.
“So, we have all the proof that Borneo State means Negara. And also on Oct 4 last year, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in an interview, acknowledged and admitted that Sarawak and Sabah are two Negara. We have the video,” claimed Soo.
Current Sapa president Dominique Ng said the DUN of Sarawak was equivalent to the Parliament.
“DUN, as the legislative or the Parliament of Sarawak, could actually debate the current amendment to the Federal Constitution.
“This is due process,” he said. — DayakDaily