‘Review on Malaysian Agreement 1963 a must by federal govt’

Bit Surang

Bit Surang

KUCHING: A revisit on the Malaysian Agreement 1963 in terms of rectifying any deviation or non-compliance must be done immediately to defuse the sense of frustration among Sarawakians.

PRS Youth publicity chief Bit Surang, in a statement yesterday, said Sarawak and Sabah should enjoy the wealth of the nation equally in accordance to the agreement.

“The call to correct non-compliance or deviation, if any, was also in line with the stand by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem, who requested for more autonomy for Sarawak outlined under the Malaysian Agreement 1963,” he said.

Bit said PRS Youth concurred with party president Land Development Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing, who recently pushed for the federal government to revisit the Malaysian Agreement and find out where the non-compliance aspects lied.

“If any, the issue must be addressed immediately by the federal government.

“We (Sarawak) are still lacking behind in terms of development, compared to Peninsular Malaysia. A revisit on the Malaysian Agreement 1963 is very significant to Sarawakians, and must be done immediately to make sure that the people would have a sense of being part of the Malaysia Federation,” he stressed.

Masing was reported as saying on Thursday that the state’s main frustration was not the lack of power and therefore, extra empowerment given to the state would not address this.

He added that the agreement remained the basis for the creation of the Federation of Malaysia, and must be honoured for the federation to survive.

As such, he cautioned that procrastinating in solving the non-compliance issues would strengthen and give credibility to the cry of secession.

“The S4S (Sarawak For Sarawakians) is the messenger of the message of frustration. Don’t kill it. Listen to it,” Masing was reported to have said.

On this, Bit said with the appointment of more cabinet ministers from Sabah and Sarawak after the recent reshuffle, it is hoped that the federal government would ‘utilise’ these ministers to channel and look at development efforts of both Borneo states in details and in compliance with the 1963 Agreement.

“This will directly defuse the grouse and sense of frustration among Sarawakians in being part of the Federation of Malaysia,” he added.

On another note, Bit hoped that the allocation of the new state seats would be distributed equally among the state Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties, should they be registered in time for the next state election, which must be called next year.

Last Friday, the Court of Appeal allowed the Election Commission (EC)’s appeal against Kuching High Court’s decision which had nullified the commission’s notice of its recommendation for a proposed re-delineation exercise for Sarawak.

EC had proposed for an increase of 11 new state seats from the current 71 to 82. The proposed constituencies are Batu Kitang, Stakan, Serembu, Triboh, Gedong, Kabong, Tellian, Selirik, Murum, Samalaju and Long Lama.

“We trust the wisdom of our chief minister and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on the principle of inclusiveness among BN components. Such mutual understanding and consensus have made BN rule for a long period of time. PRS Youth will make sure that the party would deliver the seats allocated to PRS,” Bit said.