While I welcome the recent announcement by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin who said he will ensure that Sabah and Sarawak are given fair treatment to put them on par with Peninsular states, but after 1 full year, I believe it is important that the Perikatan Nasional government fully explains to the people the progress made under its Ministry in terms of restoring our rights under MA63, as well as the development and socio-economic advancement of those in Sabah and Sarawak until now.
The PM further claimed that in order to achieve that, that is why he appointed a minister to manage Sabah and Sarawak affairs as well as the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63). However, it is important to remember that such appointment or position will only benefit the person appointed and if there is no progress in their Ministry, it will not benefit the people of Sabah and Sarawak.
Even with a designated Minister and Deputy Minister, such positions mean nothing if there is no progress in achieving what is rightfully ours and equitable development for our people.
Based on public records, until now the Special Council on MA63 that was formed under the PN government has only met once on 2nd December 2020, about 10 months after PN’s formation. Until now, there is no news of a follow up meeting.
In that meeting itself, what was agreed upon was the formation of another three committees that will handle various matters important to Sabah and Sarawak.
So, it is of utmost importance that each of those committees and the Ministry as a whole explains to the public what works have been done for the past whole year.
By now, they should show to the people of Sabah and Sarawak their “1 year Report Card” to make sure such sweet words are not just political rhetoric.
They cannot use Covid-19 as an excuse because the necessary Ministries are focused on handling the pandemic. Therefore, other Ministries can continue to function and push for necessary reforms under their jurisdiction.
I strongly believe that this is an issue of public interest as the people would want to monitor and know the report card of this Ministry on long-standing issues that have deprived Sabah and Sarawak of what is rightfully ours. We do not want this Ministry to be formed purely as an attempt to shore up political support for this unstable PN government, and not produce any tangible results for the people.
In actual fact, the PN government has actually decided to put the report by the Special Cabinet Committee on MA63 done under the PH government under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) even though 17 out of the 21 items were already agreed upon. Further, PN has even shelved the formation of the MA63 Parliamentary Select Committee that was agreed upon to monitor the implementation of the said agreements.
All these concern not just the rights of Sabah and Sarawak, but also have an important effect on the understanding of our current federation. Our rights and the spirit of the formation of Malaysia should not be treated as if they cause national harm or disorder for them to be placed under OSA.
That is why I strongly urge them to produce their “1 year report card” and be transparent with the progress of the Ministry. We do not want a window-dressing Ministry drawing the hard-earned money of taxpayers but with nothing to show.
MP for Bandar Kuching