Sunday, January 23

Death of MA63 activist Zainnal Ajamain a big loss to Sarawak, says SUPP sec-gen


Tourism, Arts and Culture Assistant Minister Datuk Sebastian Ting

MIRI (Oct 10): The death of Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) activist Zainnal Ajamain is a big loss to Sarawak and its people, said Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) secretary general Datuk Sebastian Ting.

He said that SUPP was “shocked and saddened” to learn of Zainnal’s passing.

“He was truly a dear friend to us and even though he was a Sabahan, he contributed a lot to Sarawak especially in creating awareness among Sarawakians on the formation of Malaysia, MA63, the Inter-Governmental Committee (ICG) REport, the Cobbold Commission, the Malaysia Act (Chapter 35) and our state’s special rights in the Federal Constitution,” Ting said in a press statement today.

Zainnal passed away at his Damai Luyang home in Kota Kinabalu at around 3am today.

Ting, who is also Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, said that Zainnal had first gotten in contact with SUPP through a party member (Philip Chang of the Pending branch) and said that he knew the history of SUPP well.

“I still vividly remember the last time I met the late Zainnal in November 2015 — I asked him the reason why he got in touch or in contact with our party. Why SUPP?

“He replied saying that he knew the history of SUPP well and that it was the fighting spirit of SUPP demanding for Sarawak’s independence then, since its formation on June 6, 1959, that attracted him to get in touch with SUPP,” he recalled.

He said that after discussions, they invited Zainnal as the sole speaker for a forum in Kuching on Nov 22, 2015. The forum was titled ‘A Missing Piece of Our History — Setting the Direction for the Borneo States’.

“It touched on our state’s safeguards in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and how Petronas took our oil and gas resources using the emergency power and others.

“We were indeed very impressed by his vast knowledge on our state’s rights and from the feedbacks we received by those who attended, we should organise more such forums so as to share these important information and facts with our people and create wider awareness amongst our Sarawakians,” he said.

Following the first forum, Ting said SUPP then proceeded to organise several similar ones in Kuching, Miri Sibu and Bintulu to promote and create awareness on MA63 throughout Sarawak.

“This was in tandem with the call by the late Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem to the federal government to respect the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and return our eroded state rights.

“Indeed, on Nov 24, 2015, the late Zainnal and Philip Chang made a courtesy call on our late Tok Nan and spent one hour exchanging their thoughts and views,” he said.

He added that SUPP was fortunate and very grateful that Zainnal agreed to be the guest speaker in all of the forums to help out promoting MA63 and the other three documents throughout Sarawak.

He said many Sarawakians would agree that some of his ideas were thoughts provoking.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the public also for all the overwhelming support shown to Encik Zainnal in attending his forum. Sarawak’s autonomy and rights over our natural resources have always been the key concerns to all Sarawakians.

“Many Sarawakians may agree with us if we say that we are blessed to have a person like Zainnal who selflessly dedicated some of his time to inform Sarawak of its rights, because before him no one rarely or ever mentioned about MA63, IGC Report, Cobbold Commission and Malaysia Act 1963 (Chapter 35)

“He was never a politician, only a true activist championing the MA63 and the rights of the Borneo States. It is a shock and indeed very sad to know that Zainnal had passed away today,” he said.

Ting said he spoke to Ceilla Gilingan, one of Zainnal’s relatives who always accompanied him to Sarawak and conveyed his and his party’s deepest condolences to Zainnal’s family members

“Miss Ceilla told me of the parting words of late Zainnal: ‘Please be strong and continue the journey to get back all the eroded rights as contained in MA63.’

“Indeed Sabah and Sarawak should be united or must be united to work together and get back our eroded state’s rights and natural resources as enshrined by the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the Federal Constitution,” he said.