DCM calls for all-out support for MA63 talks

Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing

KUCHING: All parties from both political divides in Sarawak should join forces to gain the ‘full-house’ support to get better deals for greater autonomy under Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing, who is also Parti Rakyat Sarawak president, said a strong voice from all 31 parliamentary seats would be the best hope for the state to regain its lost rights.

“I support Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, as the Chief Minister, to unite Barisan Nasional (BN) and if the opposition thinks that we are doing the right thing, they should come together and act as one. A full house is the best way for us to negotiate on our lost rights. We should fight for Sarawak regardless of our political affiliation,” Masing said yesterday, pointing out that since the Bumiputera-based parties are moving towards the right direction, it is now up to the Chinese-based parties to follow suit.

“I thought I know the Chinese political mentality but somehow, I got it all wrong. If the Chinese are not getting together, who are we to tell them? They have 5,000 years of history; the Dayaks have very little – the most… only 500 years of history behind us.

“I would like to tell them that they should get together, but who are we to tell them? They should tell us. I don’t mind to be told by the Chinese like that because I respect their civilisation of 5,000 years.”

Masing was commenting on Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian’s recent call for all Chinese in SUPP, United People’s Party (UPP) and also those in Democratic Action Party (DAP) to join forces in the next parliamentary election so that they could join the Bumiputera communities in giving a stronger voice for the MA63 talks with Putrajaya.

“If DAP chooses to fight us, that only shows who they really are. They are not interested in the wellbeing of Sarawak – they’re only interested in their own wellbeing, that’s all.

“If we could get a full house, there is nothing that (federal) side can say. Then when it comes to negotiation, regardless of whatever happens (on) the other side, we’re very strong. So whether it’s the angel or the devil looking after the other side, at least we’re together. Fight us – you try.”

Masing further stressed that all political parties – if they are interested in the wellbeing of Sarawak – must be together come the parliamentary election.

“Then we can tell the ‘Semenanjung’ (peninsula) people we want it (our rights) back, regardless who takes control the federal (government). For that to happen, the rhetoric of the opposition (in Sarawak) must stop – just like when we unanimously agreed in the DUN (State Legislative Assembly).

“And for that, the BN must be fair. We must help in terms of development. Do not discriminate based on political affiliation,” he said, citing how the government helped in the upgrading of Long-Luping-Ba Kelalan Road, which was badly affected by the wet weather, even though the area is under the opposition.

“It (Ba Kelalan state constituency) belongs to PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) under Baru Bian, but he kept quiet and never said thank you,” said Masing.

In the 2013 parliamentary polls, BN Sarawak won 25 seats, with SUPP winning only one of the seven seats it contested in.

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