8:29 am - Wednesday April 25, 2018

Opposition Pact remains in the dark when it comes to Malaysia Agreement

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MO,13/4/2018, KUALA LUMPUR: The opposition pact remains in the dark when it comes to issues involving Sabah, Sarawak and the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63). Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said when it came to MA63, the opposition parties had mistakenly equated consensus with compromise, and refused to look beyond that. He said the opposition, especially Parti Warisan Sabah Warisan speaks as if the MA63 involves only Sabah and Sarawak.

“Consensus – to them, is meaningless. “Now, consensus is originally a Latin word that means agreement. “As always, an agreement involves two or more parties. MA63 originally involved five main parties: Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore and the United Kingdom,” he said in a statement tonight. Anifah said, Malaysia, now as a sovereign country and no longer a Crown Colony as such, has three main components: the Federal government, and the autnomous states of Sabah and Sarawak.

He said thus the enforcement of the agreement or the amendment to it requires all the parties to work together. In this regard, Anifah said reviewing the agreement cannot be done unilaterally or only by the states of Sabah and Sarawak because the agreement also involves the federal government. “Now, how do we want to realise the MA63 based on consensus? “One of the ways is through the National Steering Committee on the Devolution of Power, which is co-chaired by myself and (Minister in Prime Minister’s Department) Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.”

On the other hand, Anifah said the opposition pact’s proposal sees that at the federal level, they planned to establish a Special Ministerial Committee to Review MA63. “I have two questions regarding this proposed committee: first, I am already the co-chair of such Special Committee with Datuk Seri Nancy. We have successfully devolved the administrative matters to both state governments of Sabah and Sarawak in the first place, and we have moved into issues pertaining to the 40 per cent revenue rights for the state of Sabah. Should we be re-elected, we will make more progress.”

In this regard, Anifah said the opposition pact’s pledge reiterated by its chairman, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his recent ‘Policy Talk’ yesterday, made him wonder, if the opposition parties really understand what they are offering the people of Sabah and Sarawak. “Secondly, by forming the Special Ministerial Committee, you are acknowledging the fact that consensus by both the federal and state governments is needed to realise MA63, no matter who is in power.

“As mentioned, the realisation of MA63 cannot be done unilaterally. “Take the Borneonisation of our civil service for an example, which was also mentioned by Tun Mahathir – it would be illogical to do it unilaterally without consensus.” Anifah adds that the best course of action is to have a Ministerial Committee to provide consensus – such as the one that is already in existence. He adds that the opposition pact’s manifesto proposing for the same committee to be established is ridiculous.

“It is akin to proposing the formation of the Ministry of Defence when we already have one.” Continuing on the topic of redundancy, Anifah said that Dr Mahathir in his recent ‘Policy Talk’ also proposed for an exchange programme between the students of Sabah, Sarawak and West Malaysia. “Again, it is already in place – with both Yayasan Sabah and Yayasan Sarawak spearheading this programme.”

He said notable amongst the alumni of the programme is none other than Works Minister Datuk Fadillah Yusof, who is tasked with the development of Pan-Borneo Highway.” “Had Pakatan MPs bothered to rub shoulders with Bornean MPs before scribbling what they call a Manifesto, they would have known. “As it is, we can safely say that when it comes to issues pertaining to Sabah and Sarawak, Pakatan Harapan still remains in the dark,” he said.

–NSTP

Filed in: Dari Bumi Kenyalang, Nasional, Negeri Di Bawah Bayu, Politik, Topik Pilihan

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