The new opposition alliance will defer to the longtime Borneo rights activist on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Equal Partnership of Sarawak, Sabah and Malaya (SakSaMa).
PRESS STATEMENT Gabungan Rakyat SakSaMa (SakSaMa) reached a consensus over the weekend on deferring to longtime Borneo rights activist Jeffrey Kitingan on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the restoration of the Federation as an Equal Partnership of Sarawak, Sabah and Malaya (SakSaMa). It will allow him to lead the Opposition in the fight for Borneo rights.
It was only right that the new opposition alliance defer to Jeffrey on the two matters since he had long been identified with the struggle for them. Jeffrey even spent a number of years in detention, under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA), because of his struggle for Borneo rights.
The details remain to be worked out. We cannot say whether Jeffrey’s newly-registered Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (Star) would sign up as a SakSaMa member. The Bingkor Assemblyman had an alliance with the Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) and Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS) in the United Sabah Alliance (USA). We are not sure about USA’s direction. What’s clear is that we will take our cue in the Opposition from Jeffrey on MA63 and the Equal Partnership.
If the Star Chief wants to bring along USA, SakSaMa would welcome them. Our emphasis is on bringing as many parties as possible together to forge unity among opposition supporters.
Henceforth, any statement on MA63 and the Equal Partnership would be issued by SakSaMa in concert with Star. Either Jeffrey would issue the statements on the two matters or SakSaMa leaders in concert with him.
Jeffrey was free to issue any statement on MA63 and the Equal Partnership with or without SakSaMa.
Still, we do not know what the Star Chief has in mind in forging a way forward on the two matters.
The position taken by SakSaMa so far has been clear. We are behind Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem in raising MA63 and the Equal Partnership with the Federal Government in Putrajaya.
Adenan has taken the right legal and constitutional approach. For starters, the Sarawak Assembly unanimously passed a Motion on MA63, among others. Adenan has already begun talks with Putrajaya on the devolution of administrative powers.
Barisan Nasional (BN) Sarawak’s win in the recent state election was based on taking the fight for Borneo to Putrajaya. If not for Adenan’s public pledges that he would take up MA63 and the Equal Partnership with Putrajaya, he would not have won the state election by a landslide.
If the Opposition picked up ten state seats on May 7, it was to serve as a check and balance on the Adenan Administration. The Opposition will be keeping a check on him. Like the people of Sarawak, they expect him to live up to his election promises.
Jeffrey should join forces with the Opposition in Sarawak as well in keeping a check on Adenan on MA63 and the Equal Partnership. Like us, we are confident that Jeffrey will take his cue from Adenan as well in government on the two matters.
Gabungan Rakyat SakSaMa (SakSaMa), Kota Kinabalu