PM’s ‘blackmail’ statement reflects hypocrisy, insincerity towards Sarawakians, says DAP

KUCHING, Dec 28: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s recent statement at the closing of Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) triennial delegates conference (TDC) speaks volumes of his and Barisan Nasional’s hypocrisy and insincerity in returning the rights of Sabah and Sarawak under the Malaysian Agreement 1963 (MA63), said Dr Kelvin Yii.

In Najib’s recent address, he said he will only commit to restoring Sarawak’s rights under MA63 on the two conditions that there are no talks of secession from Malaysia and Sarawakians must support Barisan Nasional (BN).

Yii, special assistant to Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen, said this is outright ‘blackmail’ and disrespects the people of Sarawak as well as the principles of MA63 as an international agreement.

“First and foremost, our rights under MA63 are our rights to begin with that is spelt out under the agreement and not for him to use as a political tool or set conditions on what is rightfully ours. The fact of the matter is it was the very same BN government which stole what was ours and eroded our rights over the years in the first place, and yet he had the nerve to set conditions on its return.”

Yii likened it to a thief coming to a house to steal belongings and then setting conditions for the return of the items that is not rightfully his.

He added that it speaks volume of BN’s insincerity on the matter and conditional respect for Sarawak only if it suits the conditions that favours the Prime Minister who is desperately clinging unto power.

“In our Pakatan Harapan manifesto, we pledge to recognise the Malaysian Agreement as well as return certain autonomous rights to the state once we get into power. Such ‘condition’ is necessary as we do not have federal power and the authority to do so, unlike BN who has every authority and power to return our rights today, but instead chose to ‘blackmail’ us with our own rights for the benefit and self-interest of the BN government,” Yii said.

Sarawak already gave a strong mandate to BN in the 2013 general election and 2016 state elections with 80 per cent and close to 90 per cent of the seats respectively going to BN, but yet, little to nothing is done in terms of returning rights to the state. Questions need to be asked whether Najib and the current BN government can be trusted with multiple ‘u-turns’ and broken promises already to the people, Yii said.

“What is worst, is how SUPP (Sarawak United Peoples’ Party), Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) and other Sarawak BN component parties sat there and probably cheered even though we were held to ransom by the Prime Minister. Until now, there are no signs of them speaking up against the Prime Minister for such an irresponsible statement.

“Some within SUPP have tried to make an argument that the past leaders were ‘naïve’ and ‘wrong’ to have given away our rights in the past, but the current crop of leaders are determined to get it back.

“However, they have failed to consider the fact that the current crop of leaders’ constant support for the ‘thief’ even with full knowledge of what happened is much worse in comparison to the past leaders that may have been ‘naïve’ or ‘ignorant’ in giving away our rights,” Yii said.

He lamented that all the local parties in the BN coalition are accomplices to the alleged crime and with their support, they are sending a message to Sarawakian children that those who steal from the rakyat and mismanage the country can get away with it as long as their own benefits and self-interests are protected.

“That is why, in this upcoming election, a decision has to be made. Our decision will not only affect the socio-economic standing of our country, but also the message we want to send to our future generation of whether we take the bold step to change, or continue to support a thief since it may be more convenient or for our very own benefit.” — DayakDaily