PETALING JAYA: Foreign Minister Anifah Aman has rebuked opposition parties for not understanding the meaning of the word “consensus”.
This was in relation to the Barisan Nasional (BN) manifesto which declared that the rights of Sabah and Sarawak under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) would be “realised by consensus”.
“I was made to understand that the opposition has mocked the term ‘consensus’ in the BN manifesto.
“They are mistakenly equating ‘consensus’ with ‘compromise’,” he said in a statement today.
“Consensus is originally a Latin word that means agreement. As always, an agreement involves two or more parties.”
Anifah then reminded the opposition, especially Parti Warisan Sabah, that MA63 does not only involve Sabah and Sarawak.
“As such, the enforcement of MA63 or any amendment to it requires all the parties to work together.
“We just cannot review the agreement unilaterally because the agreement also involves the federal government,” he said.
Anifah then turned the tables on the opposition, saying that even Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) manifesto promising to have a Special Ministerial Committee to review MA63 acknowledges the need for “consensus by both the federal and state governments”.
He added that such a committee and other issues raised in policy talks by PH chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad did not offer anything new as far as Sabah and Sarawak are concerned.
“I already am the co-chair of the National Steering Committee, with Sarawak’s Nancy Shukri, and we have successfully devolved administrative matters to both state governments of Sabah and Sarawak.
“We have also moved into issues pertaining to the 40% revenue rights for the state of Sabah,” he said, adding that if BN is re-elected at the federal and state levels, there will be even more progress.
Anifah said the redundancy and replication of policies already in place by the BN government shows that PH is still in the dark when it comes to Sabah and Sarawak.
“Mahathir, in his recent ‘Policy Talk’, proposed for an exchange programme between the students of Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.
“It is already in place, with both Yayasan Sabah and Yayasan Sarawak spearheading this programme.
“Had Pakatan MPs bothered to rub shoulders with Bornean MPs before scribbling what they call a manifesto, they would have known this.”