16 NOVEMBER 2016
Backpeddling seems to be the flavor of the month, not only in the USA but also in Sarawak, Malaysia. After declaring so resolutely that the Sarawak government will table a comprehensive motion in the upcoming DUN sitting to restore Sarawak’s rights to the 1963 position, the Chief Minister has disappointedly capitulated on that, on the flimsiest excuse that the Prime Minister had said he is ‘ready for discussion if the Malaysia Agreement and the Federal Constitution had been misinterpreted’.
Even that statement is vague. The PM’s readiness to talk is conditional upon the fact that the MA and the Federal Constitution had been misinterpreted? The MA was not just misinterpreted – it was treated with complete disdain and ignored. I cannot see why the CM should make an about turn like this. Has he succumbed to pressure from Putrajaya? He should not back down on his word to Sarawakians, unless the PM had given his undertaking to pass a bill in Parliament to reinstate Sarawak status. Although I should probably add a note of caution to anyone accepting the promise of the PM, based on our endless encounters of empty promises from him.
I had thought that the CM would be able to recognise a classic Najib stalling tactic when he saw one. Nothing has come of the so-called talks on the devolution of power and our demand for a greater share of royalty from our petroleum resources. Banking our hopes on the PM doing the right things is setting ourselves up for more frustrations and disappointments. How much more ‘sick and tired’ does the CM have to be before he digs his heels in?
The CM by way of exculpation further said ‘We believe in diplomacy, not confrontation’. This is not a matter of diplomacy v confrontation. This is the time to fully assert our rights, and it is just too bad for the PM that the country is in financial strife and ill able to afford restoring to us what is legally and rightfully ours. Malaysia is in this pitiable state because of FinanceAsia’s worst finance minister’s mismanagement and we must do our utmost to restore our resources before they are completely squandered by the Federal side. The first step would be to declare our rightful status within the Federation as equal partners.
The CM should carry on with the original plan to pass a motion in the DUN first to declare our stand on the 1976 amendment, and follow that up with a bill in Parliament sponsored by the State Government of Sarawak. Being firm and assertive in the correctness of our position does not equate to a confrontation. In certain situations, ‘diplomacy’ for some is taken by others to mean fear of rocking the boat.
I had submitted my motion on 10 November 2016 on the restoration of Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution and I hope to be given the opportunity to present it and have it put to a vote by the members of the Dewan. The people of Sarawak are watching and waiting.
Chairman, KEADILAN Sarawak / ADUN N81 Ba’ Kelalan