SAPP calls out BN ‘trickery’ on state rights

SAPP deputy president Melanie Chia accuses BN of resorting to trickery when it comes to restoring the rights of Sabah and Sarawak.

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Progressive Party has accused the Barisan Nasional of resorting to trickery in its pledge to restore the rights of Sabah and Sarawak as outlined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

SAPP deputy president Melanie Chia said BN’s promise on MA63 would suffer the same fate as the outcome of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the state’s illegal immigrant problem.

It was likely to end up being snared in bureaucracy, she said.

“After nearly seven years that included hearings, the compilation of the report, the only outcome from the entire exercise was the setting up of two committees,” said Chia, a former state assistant finance minister.

Yesterday, Sabah Umno’s Anifah Aman said the restoration of Sabah and Sarawak’s rights required the consensus of the federal government as the agreement did not only involve Sabah and Sarawak.

He rebuked opposition parties for not understanding the meaning of the word “consensus”.

The Barisan Nasional’s manifesto for Sabah had declared that the rights of Sabah and Sarawak under MA63 would be “realised by consensus”.

Chia said BN’s promise would be bogged down in bureaucracy as were the recommendations of the royal commission on illegal immigrants.

“It is obvious BN, especially the coalition’s leaders, are resorting to trickery when it comes to restoring the rights of Sabah and Sarawak by insisting on the phrase ‘by consensus’ in their manifesto,” she said in a statement today.

“Why is there a need for this phrase when it does not involve a new agreement? MA63 was achieved by consensus more than 55 years ago.

“To say that the restoration of what is rightfully ours would only be done by consensus is nothing more than providing themselves a veto power to stop it whenever they felt threatened,” Chia said.

SAPP secretary-general Richard Yong said yesterday that BN leaders had revealed their true thoughts about the restoration of Sabah and Sarawak’s rights by using the phrase “by consensus.”

He said BN leaders had no real intention of allowing Sabah and Sarawak to regain their rights as provided for in MA63.

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