Sarawak’s rights issue: Masing spells out how Dr M can show his ‘sincerity’

Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing

KUCHING, Sept 17: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing calls on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to honour the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and repeal the Petronas Development Act 1974 (PDA74) and Territorial Sea Act 2012 (TSA) to show Putrajaya’s sincerity in giving back Sarawak’s rights.

Masing, who is also Minister of Infrastructure Development and Transportation, pointed out that of the 55 years after the birth of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir was the prime minister for 22 years.

“And he led Umno for decades. He was in the position to make good the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), but why didn’t he do it?” he wondered.

Masing speculated that perhaps in his second coming as the prime minister, Dr Mahathir truly wanted “to make good all the wrongs he did to Sarawak and Sabah”.

However, Masing, who is Parti Rakyat Sarawak president, said Dr Mahathir had to prove his “sincerity”.

“His (Dr Mahathir’s) blame game is not convincing nor sincere. All he has to do is just honour MA63, repeal PDA74 and TSA and ask Petronas to pay back what they have taken from us.

“No more promises and no more rhetorics! Just do it,” stressed Masing.

Masing was responding to Dr Mahathir’s Malaysia Day celebration speech where he promised to return the equal status of Sarawak and Sabah as enshrined under MA63 by reviewing the agreement.

“Reviewing? What reviewing? MA63 was a UN chartered agreement out of which the formation of Malaysia as a Federation was established,” Masing responded.

“It is stated in black and white in clear terms. There is no need for reviewing. All he needs to do is honour it.”

He suggested letting the three signatories (Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah) do the audit whether there had been any breach of the understanding of MA63. If there was any breach, then the three signatories would decide whether it was serious enough to nullify the agreement.

“First an audit must be done. Dr Mahathir said “there must be a spirit of give and take”. Yes, I agree. In the last 55 years, Sarawak has given, Malaya has taken. We don’t want him to perpetuate that spirit!”

He said the so called reviewing, as proposed by Dr Mahathir, was just a decoy to pacify Sarawak and Sabah, which were now fully aware of their rights.

“Dr Mahathir did not state the time frame of when it will be done and how it will be done. We may have to wait for another 50 years after Peninsular Malaysia drains dry our oil and gas for our rights to be returned to us.

“Sarawak and Sabah should not be fooled yet again. A long period of 55 years of being ‘blindfolded’ is more than enough,” said Masing. — DayakDaily