Friday, December 2, 2016

BARU BIAN: BN SHOULD NOT PUT WORDS IN OUR MOUTHS


PRESS STATEMENT
1 DECEMBER 2016

I refer to the various newspaper reports today regarding the Sarawak government’s about-turn in tabling a motion for the restoration of Art 1(2) of the Federal Constitution, and the endless parroting by the BN politicians about the desirability of ‘diplomacy’ over ‘confrontation’. In particular I take exception to the statement by Wong Soon Koh that the opposition had agreed with the CM’s stand because nobody said anything during the CM’s winding up address. A seasoned BN-man should not presume to know the minds of those who prefer independent and inquiring thinking to perpetually towing the BN line.

Being quiet during the CM’s winding-up speech does not mean we agreed with everything he said. That is true of the other Ministers too. The rule of the Dewan is that one cannot interrupt the Minister concerned unless one wants some clarifications. We were merely observing decorum in the Dewan. In any event, the CM was restating what he had already said outside the Dewan regarding what he and the State BN had decided. We had also made our stand outside of the Dewan in response to the CM’s change of mind, and I had also spoken about it in my address to the Dewan on Wednesday last week, when Wong Soon Koh was not present. It was therefore completely mistaken of him to make that assumption.

I wish to repeat our stand that this has nothing to do with confrontation with Federal leaders. This is about giving us back what is ours. We are not demanding new rights and there is no misinterpretation of MA63 or the Federal Constitution. Why make an excuse of ‘confrontation’ to justify backing down on your previous position when the Federal government has given us nothing except their vague assurances of discussions IF (my emphasis) there had been any misinterpretations.

Also, what we are asking for has nothing to do with the talks on devolution of powers and that issue should not be brought in to confuse the people. The amendment of Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution is invalid and all we want is for the original format and wordings of Article 1(2) to be restored. It is a simple matter. Why is there a need to discuss and negotiate with the Federal government?

We cannot accept the reasoning of the CM and the BN leaders for their change of position from the initial gung-ho attitude about reclaiming our rightful status. Has the PM agreed to reverse the 1976 amendment at the next sitting of Parliament? That is the crucial question and we want an answer. It requires a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. There is nothing complicated about this issue, and the BN’s attempts to obsfucate the matter will not work with Sarawakians.

Baru Bian
Chairman, KEADILAN Sarawak / ADUN N81 Ba’ Kelalan

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