Sarawak MP: Why can’t I talk about Malaysia agreements?

(TMI) – Penampang MP Darell Leiking said today he will continue to raise the issue of the 18- and 20-point agreements for Sabah and Sarawak despite warnings from the Home Ministry.

Expressing disgust with Deputy Home Minister Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar for warning any individual or politician who raised the issue, Darell said: “Why is he giving warning relating to the safeguards which were created in the first place to protect the interests of Sabahans and Sarawakians?”

Wan Junaidi had earlier this week reminded individuals, including lawmakers, not to question matters relating to the agreements, saying it was a warning to any politician who tried to play with fire regarding the issue of national unity and the formation of Malaysia.

Darell pointed out that the these safeguards were agreed to by the Federal government back then and incorporated into the Malaysian Agreement 1963.

He asked how Putrajaya could say it was illegal for anyone to speak about an agreement which had been agreed upon decades ago.

“If Putrajaya starts to ‘gag’ these safeguards, then the people of Sabah and Sarawak will be thrown back into the realms of inferiority, in comparison with their counterparts in the peninsula, ” he said in a statement.

Darell, who is also Parti Keadilan Rakyat deputy secretary-general, said without the 18- and 20-point agreements, Malaysia would not exist.

Darell is one of the most vocal MPs on the issue. Other Sarawakian lawmakers have also reacted angrily to Wan Junaidi’s warning, saying there was nothing seditious about asking the Malaysia Agreement committee to review the agreements for Sabah and Sarawak.

Darell said a review was due as the agreement was more than 50 years old, and several incidents merited such a motion.

He cited three issues – the recent Allah ruling by the appellate court which saw conflicting views by cabinet ministers, the transfer of judges from East Malaysia that affected the judicial autonomy of the Borneo states and matters concerning oil royalties.

“I understand why the Sabah and Sarawak BN MPs opted to remain quiet when I tabled the motion for the review as they have to protect their interests within Barisan Nasional,” Darell said.

“However, people in Sabah and Sarawak have begun to voice their disappointment and anger on social media which has put the BN MPs in a spot.”