Sarawakians of all ethnic background have thrown their weight behind Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah's proposal for a review of Sarawak's 18-point and Sabah's 20-point Malaysia agreements and to regard the two Borneo states as equal partners of the peninsula.

The statement by the MP for Gua Musang and an Umno veteran leader, which was also posted on Facebook, sparked strong reactions from Sarawakians on the issue, with some even suggesting that MPs from Sarawak and Sabah withdraw their support for Najib's government if it refuses to conduct the review. 

"Sabah and Sarawak have 55 MPs, and we can use these MPs to demand for the review," said a blogger. 

"The review should be carried out now as Sarawak is now in the 50th year in the Malaysian nation. It is better late than never," he added. 

Opposition leaders in Sabah and Sarawak have been accusing the federal government of not only failing to fulfill the agreements, but also treating Sabah and Sarawak as states rather than as equal partners of Malaya. 

NONESarawak PKR urged Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to listen to  Tengku Razaleigh's proposals to review the Malaysia agreements and all the pledges made to Sabah and Sarawak. 

"Najib should listen to the advice given by the Umno leader," said state PKR chief Baru Bian (right), when asked by Malaysiakini for his comment. 

Razaleigh had said that the safeguards in the Malaysia agreements were not honoured and were taken away at the whims and fancies of the federal government. 

"There is resentment and dissatisfaction at Sabah and Sarawak being treated as such and equated to just another state of Malaysia.

Review of agreement got lost

"It had been simmering since the 1980s but it never surfaced, not as a formal articulation anyway," Razaleigh had said.

He had also said that safeguards should have been reviewed 10 years after Malaysia's formation, but the committee set up by then Prime Minister Abdul Razak Hussein to look into the agreements did not meet that year. 

This was because the government was busy drawing up the Draft Bill of the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) at that time, and priority was given to the acceptance of the PDA by Sabah and Sarawak, according to Tengku Razaleigh. 

The untimely death of Razak in January 1976 had also contributed to the failure of the government in reviewing the accords. 

Bian, who is the Ba'Kelalan assemblyperson, said: "Finally there are some brave souls from Umno who agree with us for a review of the 18/20 points Malaysia agreements. 

"These agreements are our safeguards written up as preconditions for the two Borneo states to join Malaya and Singapore in the formation of Malaysia. 

"But I want to hear the same utterance from Najib and Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud," said Bian, adding that Najib should do something about the review as his father had failed to do so. 

"I also want to hear support from Dayak and Kadazan, Dusun and Murut leaders in the BN and appeal to them to do something about it," said Bian.

~ Malaysiakini