KOTA KINABALU: Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the former Prime Minister is just ‘toying around’ with various promises of a ‘new deal’ for Sabah and Sarawak by Pakatan Harapan just to hoodwink the people and in turn win more parliamentary seats.
Raymond Tan, one of Sabah’s three deputy Chief Ministers, was commenting on Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s promise to review the Malaysia Agreement and revise the Constitution under a Pakatan Harapan government.
He said that the opposition was giving many promises to Sabah and Sarawak as they only want to win at least 40 parliamentary seats from Sabah and Sarawak in their bid to win the elections.
Over the weekend in Kuching, Dr Mahathir has said that the MA63 will be revisited and a new deal worked out that will be fair to all Sabah, Sarawak and peninsular Malaysians.
“Nobody in their “right mind” would be interested to renegotiate a new deal with Dr Mahathir or his coalition Pakatan Harapan as they are not sincere in their struggle,” Raymond was quoted by a national news portal on Wednesday.
The Star online quoted Raymond as saying that the Special Rights for Sabah and Sarawak are enforceable even if such provisions are not expressly provided for under the Constitution.
“This is stated in Article VIII of the Malaysia Agreement. Nobody in their right mind would want to renegotiate a new deal,” Raymond who is also a Gerakan vice president had told reporters.
He said that in 1983 there was a clear case where as Prime Minister Dr Mahathir revoked Sabah’s legislative rights on electricity, gas and gas works without going to Parliament.
“It was abuse. Action is now being taken to correct this abuse he committed as the head of the federal government,” he said in reacting to Pakatan Harapan’s pledge last week in Kuching to Sabah and Sarawak for a review of the Malaysia agreement.
Raymond also said that religious freedom, education, representation in the Federal Parliament, the position of the indigenous races, control of immigration, citizenship and the State Constitution have been safeguarded under the Malaysia Agreement.
“It is a lie to say that there are many things that can be done by revising the Agreement, and he gets dangerously close to not recognising the formation of Malaysia and also totally disregards the history of the nation,” he said.
He added that sincerity in making offers to Sabah and Sarawak was questionable as he asked both states in 1996 to surrender their immigration rights to allow for national integration.
He claimed that Pakatan Harapan leaders in Sabah were still pursuing plans to lift the immigration requirement so that their leaders could come into the state freely as some of them had been barred from entering Sabah and Sarawak.
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