Based On Facts Not Emotion

SIBU: The move to get back Sarawak’s powers from the federal government as enshrined in Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) is not for popularity or driven by emotion.

That was why he sent a team of lawyers to London to search for and study any references related to the state’s rights under MA63 so that Sarawak could pursue its rights based on facts and not emotion, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said, adding that what Sarawak wants now is to be given back what used to be hers.

In London, our legal team found documents used during colonial days. All the documents were brought to London after Sarawak achieved its independence in 1963. Our first chief minister the late Tan Sri Stephen Kalong Ningkan had no copies of the documents classified as secret.

These documents will be brought back to Kuching so they can become the property of Sarawakians, he said when officiating at the delegates meeting of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Zone 8 here yesterday.

Abang Johari said the documents would be presented to Putrajaya to prove Sarawak’s rights.

And there are those who thought that I’m emotional on this matter and invited me to a debate.

Not that I do not want to debate but there is no point of having a debate when the prime minister has agreed on the matter, he said.

The Chief Minister was referring to a challenge by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia for a debate over MA63.

He recalled that the late Tun Jugah Barieng had said: ‘Anang aja Malaysia tu baka tebu, manis di pun, tabar di ujung’ which means ‘Let’s hope Malaysia will not be like the sugarcane, sweet at the beginning but tasteless at the end’.

Probably what we are fighting for now is because it has turned slightly sour or bitter. We do not want it to be bitter.

We want to fight so it will continue to be sweet, he said.

He said the first phase of the negotiation on the devolution of power between the state and federal government had been settled and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had said the federal government would give back Sarawak’s rights.

Najib is very open to suggestions, he added.

At the press conference later, he suggested that PBB members help to explain to the rural population the current government policy and usage of technology to develop the state’s economy.

We are leapfrogging from conventional to digital. We have set aside allocation to upgrade our digital infrastructure to be completed within two years. It means simultaneously we must prepare our people to use technology including in the agriculture sector.

This is where PBB has to explain our policy and what we are going to do. Our branches can help to explain to the farmers and they can also suggest the best mode of approach so we can transform the rural areas, he said.

On ‘Pulau Galau’ (forest reserves) and ‘Pemakai Menoa’ (communal/territorial domain) issues, he said a conference involving community leaders would be held in January next year.

We have indicated in DUN (State Legislative Assembly) sitting recently that we would amend the land code in May after we finalise including definition of ‘Pulau Galau’, he said.

Also present were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi and Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusuf, who is also PBB Youth chief.

PBB Zone 8 comprises nine party branches � Pakan, Meluan, Ngemah, Machan, Tamin, Pelagus, Katibas, Bukit Goram and Baleh.

About 1,200 delegates from the branches attended the meeting.

Source: The Borneo Post