By DARELL LEIKING
COMMENT: The contention made by Pandikar Amin Mulia, the Dewan Rakyat Speaker, with the “claims that Sabah rights are not fully executed under MA63’, is mere political rhetoric.
It is indeed a sad day for all Sabahans, irrespective of race and religion, when the Speaker of the highest law-making body of the Federation, conveniently shoved the truth about the unfulfilled Sabah rights and privileges under the MA63 (Malaysia Agreement).
At a time when Sabahans and Sarawakians are demanding that these rights and privileges be attended to, we have a Speaker who unequivocally says otherwise, and this reaffirms like what almost all of BN leaders have rubbished similar claims made by those from the two Borneo States.
Pandikar has also clearly contradicted himself when he inferred that all the recommendations prescribed in the annexes of MA63 are no longer binding, but at the same time pointed out that MA63 had given effect to the preceeding documents.
The gist of MA63 besides being an International Treaty is affirmed as well with the Spirit, Letter and Intent of those signatories along with all the proposals and/or suggestions contained in all the documents annexed with the MA63 namely the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report which is the very Birth Certificate of the Federation of Malaysia and I have always maintained that the Federal Constitution is a Secondary Document that came out after the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
There are clear evidences that the entire Federation had not given effect to the intention of the Signatories and if there had been no such transgression of these thoughts, intentions and recommendations, then surely there would have been no complaint coming from Sabahans, Sarawakians, as well as those who have embraced MA63.
As for the question of whether we are ‘Equal Partners’ – this had been clearly affirmed pre-1976 where the composition of the Federation were set out in the pre-amended Federal Constitution where Sabah and Sarawak were defined as the Borneo States which made up the Federation together with the Federation of Malaya (which had its own states).
However all these facts were altered to fit the ‘Malaya Agenda’ along with Sabahans who did not at that material time comprehend the repercussions of their act.
Hence we now have the million-dollar question that Sabahans are all thinking; ‘are Sabahans supposed to be colonized by Malayan leaders and remain subservient to them, or are we actually an equal partner, whereby Sabahans and Sarawakians equally have the opportunity to co-administer the Federation as a Prime Minister for the Federation of Malaysia?
Singapore, I believed, was beleaguered with this problem as their Nation’s leader, between 1963-1965, was designated as the Prime Minister of Singapore, albeit a Partner of the Federation of Malaysia.
Pandikar also erred by blaming the current opposition and individuals who tried very hard to gain the attention of the Federal to be more fair to Sabah; what he had forgotten and conveniently left out in his talk is that even past Sabahan leaders in the likes of Fuad Stephens, Mustapha Harun and Peter Mojuntin all complained that they may have been tricked into forming the Federation, and neither did Pandikar attempt to tell us why there were complaints by them as well.
And for Sabah and Sarawak to receive a meagre combined budget allocation year after year despite being big contributors to the Federal coffers, only substantiates that general feeling of being ‘manipulated’.
If the Borneo States’ rights and privileges were attended to, then obviously the present Sarawak State government will not have vigorously pursued the actual implementation of MA63 as it is doing today.
They (Sarawak State Government) will not have tabled the motion for actual implementation of MA63 at DUN Sarawak recently, nor would they have sent their legal team to London in the middle of this year if they believed that the MA63 had been implemented.
A clear evidence of Sarawakians being unsatisfied is their unequivocal tabling of their motion for the setting up of the special committee earlier this month to pursue MA63 at the highest level with Putrajaya.
And in Sabah, we had a few unofficial and official bodies talking about MA63, and even Teo Chee Kang, the Chairman of the Sabah’s Rights Review Committee, had submitted a memorandum on Sabah’s rights to Najib Razak last May at Sandakan.
So, how come Pandikar is now trying to say that the claim on Sabah’s rights are mere political rhetoric; is he speaking on behalf of the Prime Minister and the Government whom I suspect is not keen on MA63 after all.
I would like to think that Pandikar may have been given a role to discourage Sabahans from piling more pressure on Najib and to narrate and ensure BN Sabah will win this coming election whilst several confusing positions by the same people in the BN Government who claims that these rights are still spewed out today.
I think this bad cop (Pandikar) and good cop (BN Sabah leaders) kind of thing is designed to create confusion so that BN Sabah can try to win GE14; they need to split up Sabahans consisting of pro Federal (Pandikar) and pro Sabah (BN Sabah).
And that to me is the real issue which will lead to an eventuality where Sabahans must make a decisive decision to end the BN in Sabah and the Federation at GE14.
Of late, we have seen many comments by Sabah’s past BN leaders arguing between themselves relating to the issue of Sabah’s rights, most notably between Pairin Kitingan and Harris Salleh.
I call upon Sabahans not to be distracted by all this ‘Game’ but to remain steadfast in bringing Sabah to a respectable position in this Federation by ending the Barisan Nasional as a Government.
And as I have mentioned in many previous statements, Warisan will immediately proceed with the actual implementation of MA63 as provided under Article 8 of the MA63 once forming the new Sabah State Government.
• Darell Leiking is Member of Parliament for Penampang and deputy President of Parti Warisan Sabah