KUCHING: Two leaders from Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) yesterday hit out at Sabah activist Zainnal Ajamain for again portraying himself as an expert on the Malaysian Agreement 1963 (MA63) and blaming MPs from PBB for last year’s failed amendment to the Article 1 (2) of the Federal Constitution.
Santubong MP Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said Zainnal was being disrespectul as the latter’s comments aired on a YouTube video uploaded on Jan 29 appeared to be giving Sarawakian leaders a “lecture” on MA63.
“He seems to portray that he has an exclusive monopoly of understanding the meaning and interpretation of all the content as entrenched in the Federal Constitution.
“Please, we Sarawakians could manage our own state without any advice from people who belittle and debase us like that,” Wan Junaidi said in a statement.
Wan Junaidi, himself a former federal minister, said as loyal party member of PBB which is a component of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), he will stand by the party leadership and whatever decision that the leaders make.
Wan Junaidi stated he began his interest in documents on the formation of Malaysia when he wrote ‘Evolusi Parlimen dan Speaker Parlimen’ in 2008, and not in 2016 as alleged by Zainnal.
He recalled that when all the GPS MPs made the decision not to support the amendment of Article 1(2) of Federal Constitution in April 2019, they were told from the speeches and discussions that they had to restore the rights of Sarawak.
“My question is what rights that Article 1(2) gives, even in its form or format of 1963?
“Clearly there was no equal partnership” through a thorough examination of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia and all the related instruments of Malaysia Agreement, for example, the Cobbold Commission Report, the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report, MA63, the Act of Malaysia 1963 (UK), Act of Malaysia 1963 (Malaya), and the Federal Constitution Malaysia.
“Honestly, I simply could not and do not find it possible to make Sarawak or Sabah or Sarawak and Sabah ‘equal partners’ to Malaya simply by introducing and passing of the April 2019 amendment. That was why I took that stand of not supporting the amendment and it is still my stand, “ he stressed.
He believed the terms used by the Minister and Pakatan Harapan (PH) debaters in Dewan Rakyat for the amendment were wrong.
He pointed out that members could not mislead Parliament and GPS MPs were not able to support it because of the numerous misrepresentations.
Meanwhile, PBB information chief Dato Idris Buang said Zainnal was missing the point in the essence of the constitution amendment to restore Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners with Peninsular Malaysia.
The Muara Tuang assemblyman said Zainnal overlooked the importance of throwing out any ambiguity found in the original Malaysia Agreement in 1963 (MA63), as well as the 1976 amended version, if such a phrase “pursuant to Malaysia Agreement 1963” was not inserted.
“What he says in the video is only a half right, half wrong view,” he said in a statement.
He argued that the flaws in Zainnal’s argument cannot be supported to suit Sarawak’s interest pertaining the spirit of the seminal and formative documents such as MA63, Inter Governmental Committee (IGC) Report and so forth that made the Federation of Malaysia.
He reiterated Sarawak’s stand for a more comprehensive amendment to the Federal Constitution by acknowledging MA63 including the interpretation of the Federation, as well as safeguarding the legislative and executive powers of Sarawak, sources of revenues, special grants and financial autonomy.
“We must insist on what was passed by the State Legislative Assembly via a motion tabled by de-facto Law Minister Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali last year.
“We just stick to our guns and insist on the insertion of, inter alia, the words ‘Sabah and Sarawak pursuant to MA63’ to their proposal on Article 1(2), and also to Article 160(2) on the definition of ‘The Federation’,” he added.