Lo Khere Chiang, Batu Kitang Assemblyman on MA63

Lo Khere Chiang

MP Stampin Chong Chieng Jen and his PH government should just stick to their original promises to firstly honour MA63 and pass it through parliament. Honour MA63 like what PH  had preached and promised during GE14.

Once Malaya honours MA63, the amendment to Article 1(2), including any other amendments  is naturally just one of the requirements to reinstate our equal status so as to comply with MA63.

If we amend only Article1(2) now without first honouring MA63, we are digging our own grave as there will be more constitution to be amended and when will we ever finish amending everything?

Is this a delay tactic to dupe Sarawak for umpteen more years or until our oil runs out? Meanwhile, will Sarawak continue to contribute Rm250 million worth of oil and gas per  to Malaysia while getting comparatively ‘next to nothing’ in return even after this latest amendment which should supposedly give us ‘equal status’?

Over the past 55 years, the federal constitution has been amended more than 400 times as mentioned by Sabah activist Encik Azaimain.

The way Tun Dr. Mahathir and his Pakatan Harapan government is going about restoring our rights, if that is indeed their honest intention, it will take ten, twenty or more years to complete and along the way, history will be forgotten and the generations after us will miss out on this and that and we will be back to square one. The original intent of MA63 will be eroded and Sarawakians and future generations of Sarawakians will never get our rights back.

It is  wiser to insist on the honouring of MA63 first in Parliament to honour, respect and to comply religiously to all the clauses under MA63. That is the spirit of an agreement.

We want to see tabled through parliament a repeal of the Petroleum Development Act 1974,  a repeal of the Sea Territorial Act 2012 and documented ensurance that Sabah and Sarawak will have equal representation of seats compared to Malaya. MA63 is after all an international agreement registered by the UK government on 21st September,1970 making it a United Nations treaty. Why is there no respect for a UN treaty? If Malaya refuses to comply with MA63, the agreement is nullified and Sarawak regains her independence.

The plundering of our resources, the poverty of our state, the brain drain and the underdevelopment of Sabah and Sarawak are the resultant effects of what these 400 over amendments have done to us. Our petroleum rights were signed away without the approval of the State Legislative Assembly because of one of these 400 amendments.

It is despicable what has been done to Sabah and Sarawak and even more so because it is done under the guise of ‘doing good’ for the people. What is the point of an amendment to the constitution if it is only to facilitate Federal to take monies from us?

YB  Chong asks why GPS MPs are not in support of the latest amendment to Article1(2). My question to him is ‘Why is he, as a Sarawakian supporting this amendment?’ Is there really a need to bulldoze this amendment through and will Sarawak be sold out again?

Chong even had the cheek to question us , GPS’s silence on our stand and Yii in his press statement had tried to placate us by saying that ‘actually no MPs have seen it’ before the first reading. This is not just a water resources, social services or tax assessment bill. For a bill or a document of such paramount significance, do you ask your clients to sign on the dotted line when both you, the lawyer and your client have not even seen a draft?

Is Chong trying to play ‘hero’ but in actuality is really letting Sarawakians down again with empty promises? We will not vote for any amendments that might further rob us of our rights. This generation has suffered enough from what has been denied us.

PH Sarawak has said that supporting this Article 1(2) amendment is the first step GPS must take. This is so wrong if it is a futile step or worse, the first step towards involving Sarawak in extra astronomical federal ‘government expenditures the amount at which cannot be ascertain’.

We must be vigilant and responsible enough to make sure we are taking the right step in the right direction. It may be a long road ahead for Sarawak to see justice done but this is also for the generations of Sarawakians who come after us. Whatever we decide now will directly impact upon our children and the generations that come after them.

Lo Khere Chiang

Lo Khere Chiang