Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem should forge an alliance of Sarawakian and Sabahan legislators to mount a concerted effort to reclaim the rights of both states.
Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How, who made the suggestion, said such a pact would be able to rally all elected representatives from the two states to chart the roadmap for devolution of powers and greater autonomy and to realise the intents of nation building as spelled out in the 1963 Malaysia Agreement.
“The chief minister is seeking to restore the powers and rights of Sarawak (and Sabah), which has eroded over the last 53 years,” he told The Borneo Post yesterday.
“He is rightfully passionate about the positions of the two states as equal partners in Malaysia’s nation building; hence, he spoke about the amendment of Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to restore the stipulation of pre-1976 to reflect that ‘equal partners’ position.”
See, who is also state PKR vice chairman, was commenting on Adenan’s statement on Sunday that Sarawak MPs might move a motion in Parliament to reinstate an article of the Federal Constitution.
Adenan said before the amendment in 1976, Sarawak and Sabah fell under a category that was different from peninsula states.
“Before that (the amendment in 1976), it says the states of Malaysia shall be (a) the states of West Malaysia, (b) Sarawak and Sabah and (c) Singapore. Of course, Singapore no more lah. Now there is only one category,” he told reporters covering the closing of a seminar on the history of Sarawak.
See opined that MPs from Sarawak and Sabah should take up the challenge to propose this amendment in Parliament.
“I hope the MPs will not shirk in performing their duties, whether for fear of losing their personal positions or interests, and not to be cowed by the might of the Umno-led federal government.
“To reclaim state rights is sacrosanct to all MPs from the two states, and those will be the critical benchmarks for aspiring candidates seeking re-election and election in the 14th general election.”
See said he was grateful the Sarawak State Assembly had been vociferous about state powers and rights and initiated the move for devolution of powers and greater autonomy for the state.
“There is little progress as of now, but given the present national political scenario and development, I am optimistic we will make progress and achieve the desired results if all lawmakers in Sarawak and Sabah are clear on the common goals and their mission and are willing to put in a concerted effort towards achieving them.”
“In that respect, it is pertinent for our chief minister to make use of his stature as the most popular political leader in East Malaysia to forge an alliance of Sarawakian and Sabahan legislators, uniting all MPs, Senators and state assemblypersons, irrespective of political party affiliations, to chart the roadmap and provide a clear direction for all legislators and common Sarawakians and Sabahans alike to rebuild the nation state as it was promised to us by our country’s founding fathers in 1963.”
Jonathan Chia, firstname.lastname@example.org