KUCHING: It is not “fantasy” to demand for the autonomous rights of Sarawak as inscribed in the Malaysia Agreement 1963, says Sarawak Reform Party (Reform) leader Lina Soo.
She said it was shocking that Reform’s Johnny Aput had been accused of “living in his own fantasy” by Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) for broaching the state’s autonomous rights while campaigning for the Tanjung Datu seat.
“The Malaysia Agreement 1963 has been the core agenda on our party election manifesto since last year. It is an issue dear to our hearts for which we have been campaigning for many years.
“We have repeatedly campaigned for the implementation of and compliance with the Malaysia Agreement 1963, which should have been done from day one.
“Instead, our rights and powers have been continually eroded since Sept 16, 1963 (when Malaysia was formed),” she said.
Yesterday, PBB supreme council member Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah had mocked Johnny’s chances of winning in the by-elections, saying he should “wake up” and return to reality.
Karim said Johnny should also stop harping on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and he also lambasted Johnny for accusing the late chief minister of being too slow in his pursuit of the matter.
“He (Johnny) is living in his own fantasy and trying to fool everybody that he can do better than Adenan Satem or Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.
“He had better wake up from his slumber and be back in the world of reality.”
Karim said Johnny probably thought he had “Aladdin’s lamp” to expedite the fulfilment of the state’s quest for greater autonomy.
“He had better be down-to-earth and not live in his own dreamland.
“Even if he wins the seat, which is near impossible, his sole voice will not even be heard in Kuala Lumpur. He can’t even open the doors of Putrajaya,” Karim said.
Soo said Reform was raising the issue of autonomy because it had yet to be resolved.
“How long does Karim feel it should take since the Malaysia Agreement 1963 has already spelt out our rights and powers 54 years ago?
“If Karim believes our country has rule of law, then the Sarawak government should implement and execute immediately the Malaysia Agreement 1963 which is the international treaty for creating the Federation of Malaysia,” she said.
Soo maintained that Reform had the right to contest in any election in a parliamentary democracy under the British Westminster system.
“No political party has ownership or hereditary right to any seat. The Tanjung Datu constituency does not belong to PBB or Barisan Nasional,” she said.
Jamilah Anu, the widow of Adenan, is the PBB candidate for the Tanjung Datu seat. Besides Johnny, Rapelson Richard Hamit of Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) Baru is also contesting.
The polling date is Feb 18. -FMT