SARAWAK Barisan Nasional (BN) parliamentarians must join with opposition lawmakers to take their objections against Parliament Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia by voting to amend the federal constitution to accord Sabah and Sarawak their rights, said state opposition leaders.
Pandikar had unleashed a public war of words with Sarawak chief minister Abang Johari Openg when he said the points within the Malaysian Agreement 1963 were not important and not legally binding.
BN state leaders have joined Abang Johari in slamming Pandikar’s comments on the agreement.
However, Sarawak opposition lawmakers said challenging Pandikar’s views was pointless as it would not lead to a resolution of the problems facing Sabah and Sarawak.
“We need the matter to be raised in Parliament and get the constitution amended.
“Pakatan Harapan is ready to support such amendment,” said Oscar Ling, DAP’s member of parliament for Sibu.
“Even an open debate between the chief minister and the speaker wouldn’t help if the constitution is not amended,” he said.
Dr Kelvin Yii, special assistant to Sarawak DAP leader Chong Chieng Jen said in a statement today it was “ironic” that although much criticisms were levelled at Pandikar, nothing of substance was done, even by ministers in the cabinet from the Bornean states.
“Even with such ‘skewed’ interpretation of MA63 by the speaker, neither the prime minister nor any minister from the federal government has called out his misinterpretation,” he said.
“I urge Abang Johari not to waste any efforts to debate or convince his Barisan Nasional counterparts who clearly have no intention to acknowledge our rightful status.
“I also urge him to take one step further – to support Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto to recognise our status, return our autonomy in areas such as education, healthcare as well as 20% oil royalty for the betterment of the state.”
MA63 is an international agreement that set the terms and conditions in which Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak agreed to merge to form Malaysia. The UK is also a signatory.
The agreement allows Sabah and Sarawak fundamental autonomy over matters regarding language, religion, native laws, education and immigration.