Posted on November 26, 2013, Tuesday
KUCHING: The government should allow Sarawakians and Sabahans to participate in a referendum on their state’s status in Malaysia to find out the views of the majority in the two East Malaysian states.
Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How, who made the call, said it was wrong for the government to say that it is seditious and a reason for the people to remind the federal government of the terms in the Malaysia Agreement.
“This is the 21st century and we are not in the 50’s and 60’s anymore that when people talk about it (Malaysia Agreement) then you say there is treason, communist and seditious.
“Instead, the government should now be liberal. They should be saying: look, let’s get a time and we will have a referendum for Sabahans and Sarawakians to see what are the views of the majority of the people in Sarawak and Sabah,” he told reporters yesterday at the State Legislative Assembly Complex.
See was asked for his comment on Deputy Home Minister Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar’s statement yesterday, who warned politicians to stop raising Malaysia Agreement-related issues as it can cause disunity and unrest.
Wan Junaidi, who is Santubong MP, said the call for a review of the Agreement could be considered a treason or sedition although no action had been taken against those who raised the issue in Parliament or State Legislative Assembly thus far.
See, who is state PKR vice chairman, said Sarawak and Sabah, being privy to the Malaysia Agreement, should be allowed to raise the issues concerning the agreement and ensure that all the obligations in the Agreement had been respected by all parties.
“They are just asking for our rights stated under the 1963 Agreement.
“As the party to the Agreement, we should be able to raise the issue and review the Agreement to ensure that the obligations in the Agreement had been respected by all parties.”
He said the reason why many parties are now raising the Malaysia Agreement issues was because the people felt that the federal government has breached obligations in the Agreement.
“So there is nothing seditious or treason for people to raise the topic. Of course, the deputy minister can say if you do it again, we are going to arrest people but to me, the case can’t stand in the court of law.”
See said those who questioned the Malaysia Agreement did not commit any crime as Sarawakians and Sabahans were just asking for their contractual rights under the Agreement.
Meanwhile, Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen also concurred that there was nothing seditious about people raising issues related to the Malaysia Agreement issues.
He said the purpose of people in raising the issue was to urge the government to address the erosion of Sarawak and Sabah’s rights.
Contradictory to Wan Junaidi’s statement, Chong said it was the failure to address the problem that would cause disunity and unrest in the country.