KUCHING, Sept 26: Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting is all for the enactment of a Referendum Ordinance.
He argued that before the formation of Malaysia in 1963, Sarawak was a nation and, therefore, had the right to enact a Referendum Ordinance as a state law to protect and safeguard those special rights granted to Sarawak under the provision of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), Inter-Government Committee Report, the Cobbold Commission, the Malaysia Act 1963 (Chapter 35), the Sarawak Constitution and the Federal Constitution.
“This enactment would enable our Sarawak legislature to refer those questions or any amendment affecting such rights to the people of Sarawak for their consideration and consent or by way of holding a referendum within Sarawak.
“We are talking about the rights of Sarawak, not federal rights or issues.
“This is my personal view. I need to stress that for this matter, I am not representing my party (Sarawak United Peoples’ Party) as we have not discussed this in our party,” said Ting, who is SUPP’s secretary-general.
He said as the state moved forward, it was increasingly important for the government to engage with the people and discuss with them important issues to arrive at the best solution or decision for the benefit of Sarawakians, as a whole.
“Holding a referendum is one of the best ways,” Ting told DayakDaily, and reiterated that he could neither speak for SUPP nor Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).
On State Reform Party (STAR) president Lina Soo’s view that a referendum is a national issue and should be done at the national level, Ting, who is a lawyer by training, said if the proposal is to enact a Referendum Act, then it is for the consideration and decision of Parliament.
“However, Sarawak needs to initiate it first before we can do it as a nation, insofar as we are talking about the special rights granted to Sarawak as contained in MA63, Cobbold Commission, Inter Government Committee Report, Malaysia Act 63 (Chapter 35), Sarawak Constitution and Federal Constitution.
“After we have enacted ours, then it is for the federal side to decide whether they will follow suit, though it is most unlikely that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government will take any such initiative to do so,” said Ting.
SUPP Miri (Piasau) had organised a forum entitled ‘Discussion on MA63 and OMO (Oil Mining Ordinance 1958) Amendment (2018)’ on Sept 23 in Miri. Ting was the moderator.
The speakers at the forum included Muara Tuang assemblyman Dato Idris Buang, former SUPP treasurer-general and former Repok assemblyman Datuk David Teng, MA63 expert Zainal Ajamain and Soo.
During the forum, the question of enactment of a Referendum Ordinance was raised, and the panel of speakers shared their views on this matter. — DayakDaily