Masing: Pakatan’s pledge just political promise


KUCHING:  Pakatan Rakyat’s pledge to restore Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners with fair representation on par with the Peninsula is just political promise based on the assumption that the two states received the poorer end of the deal within the federation.

Senior Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing, who said this yesterday, opined that Pakatan’s ‘Kuching Declaration’ signed on Sunday to honour the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 was in truth quite far-fetched.

“Their promises of a so-called better life for both Sarawakians and Sabahans are just political promises which I feel are unattainable!” he said when contacted.

Masing, who is also Land Development Minister, explained that the declaration was only based on Pakatan’s assumption that Sabah and Sarawak had been given what they perceived as a ‘rough deal’ when the two states agreed to be part of Malaysia then.

State Barisan Nasional (BN) backbenchers club chairman Abdullah Saidol, meanwhile, believed that Pakatan should have a second look at their manifesto when taking over Selangor, Kedah and Pulau Pinang before trying to champion the rights of Sabahans and Sarawakians.

“How many promises they made to these states have been actually fulfilled? There is no honesty in their declaration. It is all based on their desire to be in power. In the state’s perspective, the opposition only knows how to talk big. It can be seen that their political culture is quite extreme and rude,” claimed the Semop assemblyman.

He further said BN had been practising political development that prioritised peace and unity, and the state had succeeded in bringing about a balanced physical and infrastructure development, with all BN elected representatives united in bringing more progress and growth to the state.

On the parties in PR, he said they were quite fragile as each had a different political mission and harbour distrust for each other.

At Pakatan’s inaugural Malaysia Day do at Chonglin Park here on Sunday, its national and state leaders pledged to restore Sarawak and Sabah as equal partners of the Peninsula if it formed the next government.

They signed ‘The Kuching Declaration’ to honour the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement of 1963. The articles included restoring autonomy to the two east Malaysian states within the framework of the Federal Constitution (equal partners); fair representation (increase national integration through a fair power-sharing arrangement); citizenship (set up a Royal Commission to solve illegal immigration); and restoration of native customary rights over land (set up Land Commission to investigate, resolve disputes, redress, survey and restore NCR rights).

The others are to endorse the appointment of East Malaysian citizens to head government departments in their own respective states; oil justice (raise oil and gas royalties from five per cent to 20 per cent); and equitable development (bring the level of infrastructure development in Sarawak and Sabah to be on par with Peninsular Malaysia).

The signatories also promised to execute all the policies set forth in Buku Jingga (Orange Book) to bring the country to greater heights of achievements.