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Sunday, November 6, 2016

CM urged to table motion on Sabah's status

KOTA KINABALU - Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman has been urged to also table a motion in the coming State Assembly sitting to urge the Federal Government to return Sabah’s status as stated in the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

The call was made by former Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk VK Liew when speaking at the Public Meeting on Malaysia Agreement 1963 and Federal Constitution Article 1(2) here yesterday.

Liew who is also former Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) president, said that Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem had said that a motion on the same issue would be tabled at its State Assembly sitting on Nov 17.

“The difference between Sabah and Sarawak is that we in Sabah do not have a flag bearer. It is for Sabah Chief Minister to do the same, because at this moment we do not have a flag bearer.

“If we have a flag bearer like in Sarawak where the Chief Minister tackles it, it would be a different scenario completely. At the moment we only have Tamparuli assemblyman Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Bumburing who has said that he will introduce a Private Member’s Bill on the matter,” Liew pointed out.

According to him, it is up to the State Assembly Speaker to accept or reject based on the factors such as urgency of the matter, importance of the matter and public interest and all that.

“Business of the government must come first so Private Member’s Bill like the Hudud Bill may not even see the light of day if there are many businesses of the government that need to be dealt with in the state legislative sitting,” he said.

Liew was also of the opinion that Sabah and Sarawak need to be united in the matter so that their voice can be louder thus making the Federal Government see the need to resolve the matter.

“If only one state government makes the demand, Putrajaya can ignore it but together, the voices of Sabah and Sarawak will be louder. We have to be united to be stronger and put more pressure on the federal government,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan is confident that if Musa tables the motion, it will be supported by all elected representatives in the State Assembly.

“If the Chief Minister tables it I will support. If it is tabled by the government I am sure it will get the support of everybody. If you do like Sarawak does not mean that you are following, it is supporting. The two states need to be unified in demanding to be given back their rights,” said Dr Jeffrey who was also one of the speakers at the event.

“If you make a resolution at the State Legislative Assembly sitting, it will be more powerful because it represents the state. These are the elected representatives making a decision so if you just use the civil servants just like how they did in the past in pursuing the 40 per cent you don’t get anywhere,” he stressed.

Dr Jeffrey added that he heard that there is a plan to have a special sitting after this budget sitting to deal with the matter.

Another speaker at the forum, former Mas Gading member of parliament Patrict Anek Uren said that if the people (of Sabah and Sarawak) are consistent in their demand and if they are serious in their quest for independence, the Malaysia Agreement can be only a step for them to move forward.

He was of the opinion that there is a need to review the Malaysia Agreement so that Sabah and Sarawak will get their status back.

The member of parliament said he had voted for the amendment to the Federal Constitution in 1976 and he knew what he was doing and what it would entail.

“We had to (sign the amendment), we are members of the party which was already part and parcel of the grand alliance. Even if I had opposed, it would be nothing.

“Now what we are concerned about is not what has been done in 1976, we should be concerned about whether it has effect on the future. But as I said just now, we are a democratic country and even with the so-called Sedition Act, our government is subject to being elected by the people.

“The people that we elect in the future government, they are not bound by what has already been done, they can change things. The emphasis is not on the past but it should be on the future. Your question is if what we did in 1976 infringes on the future?

“No, it does not and one principle thing that I must explain here that what was done to the Constitution in 1976 did not have any effect either in reducing or making less effective the Malaysia Agreement 1963,” he stressed.

Other speakers in the forum were Borneo Conservation Trust Secretary General Datuk Dr Laurentius Ambu, Sarawak State Reform Party (REFORM) President Lina Soo and DAP Sabah Political Education Director, Adrian Banie Lasimbang. It was moderated by former State Secretary Tan Sri Simon Sipaun.

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