State PKR chief and Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian is puzzled by the chief minister’s announcement on Wednesday that the state BN has decided not to table a motion on reclaiming Sarawak’s rights in the upcoming State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting.
“Backpeddling seems to be the flavour of the month, not only in the USA but also in Sarawak. After declaring so resolutely that the Sarawak government will table a comprehensive motion in the upcoming DUN sitting to restore Sarawak’s rights to the 1963 position, the chief minister has disappointedly capitulated on that, on the flimsiest excuse that the prime minister has said he is ‘ready for discussion if the Malaysia Agreement (MA) and the Federal Constitution
have been misinterpreted’,” he said in a press statement issued at a news conference yesterday.
Baru said the prime minister’s readiness to talk ‘is conditional upon the fact that the MA and the Federal Constitution had been misinterpreted’.
He said the MA was not just misinterpreted but also treated with complete disdain and ignored.
“I cannot see why the chief minister should make an about turn like this. Has he succumbed to pressure from Putrajaya?
“He should not back down on his word to Sarawakians, unless the prime minister has given his undertaking to pass a bill in Parliament to reinstate Sarawak status.”
On Nov 1, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem told a press conference that a comprehensive motion covering all aspects of the state’s rights including the Territorial Sea Act 2012 would be tabled in the coming sitting.
However, two days ago, he told another news conference that the state BN had decided not to table the motion on reclaiming Sarawak’s rights.
Adenan explained that there was now no need to make the move as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had, on Sunday, said the federal government was ready to explore any misinterpretation of the MA signed in 1963 with Sarawak and Sabah.
“We trust the prime minister to do the right thing. In the meantime, there is no need to pass a resolution in the Dewan. We believe in diplomacy, not confrontation.”
To this, Baru said: “I thought the chief minister would be able to recognise a classic Najib stalling tactic when he saw one. Nothing has come out of the so-called talks on the devolution of power and our demand for a greater share of royalty from our petroleum resources.”
He felt that banking the state’s hopes on Najib doing the right things would be setting itself up for more frustrations and disappointments.
He wondered how much more ‘sick and tired’ the chief minister had to be before he dug his heels in.
On Adenan’s ‘we believe in diplomacy, not confrontation’, Baru said: “This is not a matter of diplomacy versus confrontation. This is the time to fully assert our rights, and it is just too bad for the prime minister that the country is in financial strife and ill able to afford restoring to us what is legally and rightfully ours.”
Baru said the first step would be to declare Sarawak’s rightful status within the Federation as equal partners.
As such, he said the chief minister should carry on with the original plan to pass a motion in the DUN first to declare our stand on the 1976 amendment.
He added that a bill in Parliament sponsored by the state government should follow this DUN resolution.
“Being firm and assertive in the correctness of our position does not equate to a confrontation. In certain situations, diplomacy for some is taken by others to mean fear of rocking the boat.”
Baru thus hoped that he would be given the opportunity to move a motion, which he submitted on Nov 10.
His motion focuses on the restoration of Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution.
“I hope to be given the oppportunity to present it and have it put to a vote by the members of the Dewan. The people of Sarawak are watching and waiting.”
Source : The Borneo Post Online