SIBU – Tan Sri Adenan Satem should set a deadline to pull out of Barisan Nasional if the BN federal government refuses to accede to Sarawak’s demands for autonomy as guaranteed in the 1963 Malaysian Agreement leading to the 1963 Federal Constitution.
This was asserted by Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng in a speech made at DAP Sarawak 18th State Annual Convention In Sibu Sunday.
“BN must be taught a lesson and be reminded that just as without Sarawak there is no Malaysia, similarly without the support of Sarawak MPs, BN would lose Federal power,” said Lim, the DAP secretary-general.
Lim told his Borneo state counterpart he (Adenan) must set a deadline for the federal government to grant his demand for greater autonomy, made as part of his election pledge during the state elections.
Lim claimed the 1976 Federal Constitution amendments had downgraded the status of Sarawak from being an equal partner with Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia to being a mere one of the 14 states comprising the Malaysian Federation.
To reverse the downgrade of Sarawak’s status, Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution must be amended back its original status to restore the rightful position of both Sabah and Sarawak that was agreed upon in 1963, he went on to say.
Adenan’s administration is scheduled to table a motion at the state legislative assembly to reclaim Sarawak’s rights under the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 next month.
Sarawak autonomy was a crucial campaigning issue that helped boost Adenan and BN during the state polls. The ruling coalition, led by the chief minister’s United Bumiputera Pesaka Party, won a landslide victory and reduced opposition seats, including some of DAP’s urban stronghold.
Lim said while the party had always supported the call for more autonomy for Sarawak, it was still sceptical that Putrajaya would accede to the demand.
He reminded Adenan that it was BN that orchestrated the amendment to the Federal Constitution in 1976 in downgrading Sarawak to the status of being only one among 14 states
The move was opposed by the DAP but supported by the BN Sarawak MPs at the time.