Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian has reminded Barisan Nasional (BN) ministers not to put words into opposition members’ mouth by saying that they agreed with Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s stand because nobody said anything during his winding-up address.
Baru, who is state PKR chairman, said he took exception, particularly to the statement by Second Finance Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh that the opposition had agreed with the chief minister’s stand on reclaiming the state’s rights because nobody said anything during his winding-up address.
“A seasoned BN-man should not presume to know the minds of those who prefer independent and inquiring thinking to perpetually towing the BN line. Being quiet during the CM’s winding-up speech does not mean we agreed with everything he said. That is true of the other Ministers too.
“The rule of the Dewan (State Legislative Assembly) is that one cannot interrupt the Minister concerned unless one wants some clarifications. We were merely observing decorum in the Dewan.
“In any event, the CM was restating what he had already said outside the Dewan regarding what he and the State BN had decided. We had also made our stand outside of the Dewan in response to the CM’s change of mind, and I had also spoken about it in my address to the Dewan on Wednesday last week when Wong Soon Koh was not present. It was therefore completely mistaken of him to make that assumption,” Baru said in a press statement yesterday.
Wong, who is United People’s Party (UPP) president, said the silence from the opposition when Adenan said the state BN had decided not to table a motion on matters related to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) after the prime minister had announced his willingness to discuss with both Sarawak and Sabah on the matter, indicated that they agreed with the state BN’s approach in diplomacy rather than confrontation with Putrajaya.
Regarding the Sarawak government’s about-turn in tabling a motion for the restoration of Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution, citing its desirability of ‘diplomacy’ over ‘confrontation’, Baru reiterated the opposition’s stand that this had nothing to do with confrontation with Federal leaders.
“This is about giving us back what is ours. We are not demanding new rights and there is no misinterpretation of MA63 or the Federal Constitution. Why make an excuse of ‘confrontation’ to justify backing down on your previous position when the Federal government has given us nothing except vague assurances of discussions if there had been any misinterpretations.
“Also, what we are asking for has nothing to do with the talks on devolution of powers and that issue should not be brought in to confuse the people. The amendment of Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution is invalid and all we want is for the original format and wordings of Article 1(2) to be restored. It is a simple matter. Why is there a need to discuss and negotiate with the Federal government?”
Baru said state PKR could not accept the reasoning of the chief minister and BN leaders for their change of position from the initial gung-ho attitude about reclaiming our rightful status.
“Has the prime minister (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) agreed to reverse the 1976 amendment at the next sitting of Parliament? That is the crucial question and we want an answer. It requires a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. There is nothing complicated about this issue, and the BN’s attempts to obfuscate the matter will not work with Sarawakians.”
Source : The Borneo Post Online