Sarawakians And Sabahans Should Have The Final Say On Whether To Review The Malaysia Act, The 20-Point Agenda And Conditions Of Entry To Malaysia And The New Condtions Applicable
by Lim Guan Eng
(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): DAP unreservedly condemns the naked attempt by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department M. Kayveas at the Dewan Negara to change the relationship of power and rights by proposing to unilaterally revise the original conditions of entry by Sabah and Sarawak into Malaysia. Kayveas should not forget these agreements were intended to preserve and protect the rights of Sarawakians and Sabahans from being trampled upon by the arbitrary exercise of power by the Federal Government.
Promises made must be honoured, what more when complaints that the rights granted to Sabah and Sarawak have been honoured more by its breach than its performance. Forging closer relations and national integration between Sabah and Sarawak with peninsular Malaysia can not be achieved only by removal of rights, which will only continue the sense of deprivation felt by Sabahans and Sarawakians.
Peninsular Ministers like Kayveas should be sensitive to the dissatisfaction of Sarawakians and Sabahans of being marginalized economically and politically when the wealth from natural resources are not enjoyed by all. Witness the vast difference in infrastructure development between Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia.
DAP takes the firm and uncompromising view that Sarawakians and Sabahans should have the final say on any action to review the Malaysia Act, the 20-point agenda and other rules and conditions agreed upon when they became part of Malaysia in 1963 as well as any new conditions applicable.
The DAP Parliamentary wing shall undertake a vigorous defence of the existing agreements and oppose any attempts or constitutional amendments to undermine these rights in Parliament. At the same time DAP stands ready to launch a nation-wide campaign to defend Sarawakian and Sabahan rights should the government seek to review these arrangements.
I have informed DAP Sarawak State Chair Sdr Richard Wong and DAP MP For Kuching Chong Chien Jen to take all necessary political action to defend Sarawakian rights. DAP directs DAP Sarawak to be alert to such moves by the Federal Government to undercut state powers and press for the removal of Ministers or Deputy Ministers who act unilaterally to undermine Sarawakian rights as “unMalaysian” in contravening the spirit and meaning of the Malaysia Act. There is no compromise on the fundamental principle that only the people of Sabah and Sarawak can decide whether to review and the new contents applicable of the existing agreements.
* Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General