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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Jan 10: Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S) holds the view that Sarawak government has the means to reclaim the state’s rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), but it lacks the leadership to do the necessary.
As tomorrow (Jan 11) marks the third anniversary of Pehin Sri Adenan Satem’s passing, the movement again reminded the state government of their important role to live up to and fulfil the outstanding legacy of the late chief minister, who started the fight for equal status to be accorded to Sarawak and Sabah.
Its spokesperson, William Mangor, pointed out that ever since the change in the political landscape after the 14th general election (GE14) last year, the state government seemed to have slackened in its commitment to reclaim Sarawak’s rights.
“Three years after Tok Nan’s passing, we fail to see much development from Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg in reclaiming MA63,” he told a press conference today.
“Perhaps, the Sarawak government has forgotten about what Tok Nan has consistently and persistently fought so hard for. Because time swiftly passes by so people tend to forget.”
William, thus, urged the state government to enact a new law in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) and then bring it to Parliament to give legal effect to the MA63, which is an international treaty.
“The august House has the power to do so. Abang Johari has a legal team looking into this, and they should know what to do to. Furthermore, Pakatan Harapan (PH) has even agreed to restore Sarawak’s status under MA63,” he added.
When asked if they assume PH would make things easy for the Sarawak government, he admitted that it would not, and suggested that the state government come up with a referendum ordinance to allow Sarawakians to decide.
“We feel that the state government under Abang Johari failed to grasp the essence of Tok Nan’s fight, which was to reclaim what legally belonged to Sarawak and have them returned to Sarawak, nothing more, nothing less,” he said.
Meanwhile, S4S will be organising a candlelight vigil in memory of Tok Nan at the Kuching Waterfront here tomorrow from 7pm until 10pm.
Sarawakians from all walks of life, including politicians from both factions as well as Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDS Baru) and State Reform Party (STAR), have been encouraged to join the event.
“The dress code is black and those coming can bring their own candles. We will observe a moment of silence,” he said. — DayakDaily