KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) deputy president Darell Leiking today applauded the rebuttal issued by Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg against Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia’s view on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
Pandikar had recently said claims by certain quarters that Sabah’s MA63 rights were not fully executed were empty political rhetoric to incite anger and hatred among the people of Sabah.
“While our Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman and Sabah BN cabinet ministers are eerily quiet on the views issued by Pandikar Amin, the dissenting view issued by the chief minister of Sarawak provides a beacon of hope for Sabahans and Sarawakians in general, to ensure that rights are given back to the two Borneo states,” Leiking said in a statement today.
“Of course, Pandikar has all the right to view his opinion in relation to MA63, but for him to do so while holding the post as speaker of the highest law-making authority in the country clearly undermines the effort by Sabahan and Sarawakian MPs who would want to debate MA63 at the parliamentary level.
“You cannot become a referee and a player at the same time during a football match. He is holding a post that requires him to display a certain amount of impartiality, credibility and fairness.”
Leiking, who is also Penampang MP, said the firm stand on MA63 shown by Abang Johari and his predecessor, the late Adenan Satem, had received the support of Sarawakian opposition assemblymen.
He said it clearly showed that the way forward for the Borneo states was not through political expediency, but deep understanding and respect over what had been agreed on during the formation of the federation of Malaysia.
“This is what we in Sabah expect the chief minister to accept in relation to MA63, that is for him and his cabinet to work in tandem with his Sarawak counterpart instead of whispering to the federal leaders on the implementation of MA63, despite the political pressures coming from Umno top leaders against it,” he said.
“The fact remains that the majority of Sabahans generally view the efforts by Sabah BN with regards to the actual implementation of MA63 as unconvincing compared to what their Sarawak counterparts have done so far, and thus, it is only natural for us Sabahans to criticise the Sabah government leaders on this matter.”
Leiking said the Sarawak chief minister had clearly dismissed the federal government’s MA63 technical committee, jointly chaired by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri and and Foreign Minister Anifah Aman.
As such, not much would be expected from the non-official committee or state authority established to discuss Sabah’s rights.
Leiking also said he was certain that Sarawakians were waiting for Sabahans to work together on the MA63 demands and implementation.
He said the actual and immediate implementation via Article 8 of MA63 must be free from political expediency and should start from the state legislative assembly.
“Irrespective of who holds the federal government, the state government must not allow political pressure or duress to impede the pursuance of MA63.”
Thus, he said, the instruction to the state government for the actual and immediate implementation of MA63 should not originate from an executive order or cabinet decision.
Instead, it should be from the state legislative assembly because two-thirds of the representatives must agree that the mechanisms of the agreement be activated immediately.
“This is how the Sarawak government activated theirs. In fact, two Borneo state assemblies working in tandem will change and save the course of the federation.
“And this, among others, is what Warisan will do immediately once we are given the mandate to form the new Sabah government,” he said.