‘HE’S A LIAR’: SABAHANS & SARAWAKIANS DISMISS NAJIB’S OFFER – BUT WHAT WILL ‘OUT-FOR-THEMSELVES’ MUSA AMAN & ADENAN STRIKE A BACKDOOR DEAL
When Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was in Sabah to open the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation’s (Upko) national convention, he declared that he was ready to discuss the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
Sadly, maybe with the exception of those in his ruling Umno party and a few hardcore Barisan Nasional leaders, most Sabahans do not believed him last week.
The scepticism, fuelled with distrust due to Putrajaya’s failure to implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants in Sabah, even spilled across the border to Sarawak.
Most vocal Sabahans, politicians and Netizens alike, have dismissed Najib’s “open mind” and readiness to discuss promise to restore the state’s demand for the restoration of its lost rights under the agreement and the state’s status as equal partners with Malaya and Sarawak in the formation of the federation and its status as a sovereign region as mere “gula gula” (sweets) that are being dished out ahead of the forthcoming general election in 2018.
One of the state’s most outspoken politicians, Bingkor assemblyman Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan in his reaction to the offer said “merely opening his door and listening to Sabah and Sarawak is not enough”.
Kitingan, the Star Sabah president, said if Najib is serious about solving the discontentment of the Borneo states then he “must act immediately to invite all stakeholders to review the Malaysia Agreement”.
“He must show sincerity and act to fulfil the terms and conditions Sabah and Sarawak agreed to form Malaysia in 1963.
“Sabah and Sarawak have been played around, hoodwinked and cheated for far too long by Malaya and the federal government since the formation of Malaysia by taking advantage of our political inexperience and obliging attitudes.
“This exploitative colonial manoeuvring has intensified since the 1970s,” he said.
Kitingan, once detained under the draconian security law, the Internal Security Act (ISA), for calling for a review of the Malaysia Agreement, said Malaya masquerading in the name of Malaysia continue to rape and exploit the resources of Sabah and Sarawak.
He pointed how could Najib and Putrajaya blame when there is rising discontent in these two nation-states with the exploitation and feet dragging in meeting the states’ demands.
“Can Putrajaya blame the calls for secession although it is not secession when parties to an agreement choose to leave for non-compliance, it is dissolution?
The PM’s recent speech in Penampang that he is ready to discuss MA63 is one that Sarawakians have heard many times in the past, especially before the last Sarawak Elections when he was almost camped here full time. From past experience, we know that these are but rhetoric to fool the people of Sabah and Sarawak as BN has done so for the last 50-plus years. We have no confidence in this statement by PM especially when he is just about to face GE14.
Across the border in Sarawak, assemblyman Baru Bian jizzed Najib’s offer as “one that Sarawakians have heard many times in the past, especially before the last Sarawak Elections”.
“From past experience, we know that these are but rhetoric to fool the people of Sabah and Sarawak as BN has done so for the last 50-plus years.
“We have no confidence in this statement by prime minister, especially when he is just about to face GE14, he said in reference to the 14th general election in two years.
“Najib came to Sarawak and said he was willing to recognise our autonomy but has fudged around the issue after the elections and we are nowhere near to getting any autonomy, just some devolution of power concessions to try to keep us happy.”
A Netizen who goes by the name Charles Jwee, in his posting in a Whatsapp group chat, sarcastically asked why it took Putrajaya 53 years to finally be ready to talk.
He dismissed the offer as “appetiser for votes”.
Most Netizens stated they would only believe Najib and “all his promises” if they are met before the general election”.
In what is seen as a push on Najib, the Sabah and Sarawak state legislative assembles are to file motions to reclaim their status as an equal partner in the Federation of Malaysia.
Baru Bian is optimistic there would be unanimous support for the motion in the Sarawak assembly but a question mark hangs on the move in the Sabah assembly.
Many expect the Umno state government to reject the motion, expected to be tabled by Tamparuli assemblyman Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred M Bumburing.
Baru said whether Parliament reverse amendments to the Federal Constitution, like the 1976 amendment of Article 1(2) that downgraded Sabah and Sarawak’s status to mere states to the level of the Malay states that make up Malaya, or laws that were deemed unconstitutional as they went against the Malaysia Agreement, remain to be seen.
If it does, he said, it’s an indication of Najib’s sincerity.
He said with so many broken and unfulfilled promises, “we simply have no basis to believe Najib’s words”.