KOTA KINABALU, Nov 26: Sabah politicians on both sides of the divide have been derided for their alleged lack of resolve to fight for the state’s rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
The statements they had been making on the issue showed they were more interested in serving their political interests than pursuing what was good for Sabah, opined political activist Zainnal Ajamain who has also authored two books on MA63.
In a report by Free Malaysia Today, he accused members of the state administration of fearing the loss of privileges if they were to antagonise Putrajaya and thinking that the people of Sabah could be “easily pacified with empty promises and perhaps a bit of cash incentive.”
He also criticised opposition leaders for their failure to make effective use of the recent state assembly sitting to speak up for Sabah’s rights.
Although three motions on MA63 were rejected, he said the opposition had the opportunity to raise up MA63 issues in their debate speeches but they only used to platform to ‘gripe and whine’ about Umno’s palaces and ownership of private jets.
“This clearly shows that while the opposition may shout about MA63, they are empty when it comes to content,” he was quoted as saying.
Zainnal also rebuked Special Tasks Minister Teo Chee Kang for saying that the legal basis of Sabah’s claim would not be strengthened by the passing of a resolution in the assembly, like Sarawak has done.
He said Teo should not be too happy to accept Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s assurances that Sabah’s rights would be returned.
Zainnal recalled that Najib announced the lifting of the state of emergency in 2011 but hardly a year later got Parliament to pass the Territorial Sea Act, which he said amounted to the same thing because it ensured the reduction of Sabah’s territorial waters to three nautical miles from the pre-emergency 350 nautical miles.
He alleged that the Territorial Sea Act was unconstitutional and said he had little doubt that the federal government had always wanted Sabah’s oil and gas.
“It is therefore apt to question Najib’s sincerity in saying Putrajaya would return what is rightfully Sabah’s.” — DayakDaily