by : Joe Fernandez
Opposition leader claims state sentiment is the argument of a minority being used “against the rest”.
KOTA KINABALU: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim told the media in Kota Kinabalu on Friday, on the sidelines of a dialogue with a gathering of youths, that he disagrees with the Sabah Sarawak Keluar Malaysia (SSKM) movement but that does not mean he disagrees with the clamour for reform.
“The SSKM movement will hinder any attempts to force the Federal Government to re-look the original conditions of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63),” said Anwar. “It will not benefit us in the long run.”
“It’s not true that if you are against SSKM, you are against the wishes of the people of Sabah.”
He was silent on the new Federation and new Constitution mentioned in MA63 and instead claimed that secession was not allowed under the Federal Constitution (the old Malayan Constitution).
“Seceding from the Federation is against the Federal Constitution. States are integral parts of the Federation. It’s clearly stated,” he added. “Do not use this state sentiment because no country in the world would readily concede this argument.”
He claimed that the state sentiment was the argument of a minority being used “against the rest”. “Any attempt to secede from the Federation is unreasonable,” he argued and advised Sabahans to work for change (from within) instead of submitting themselves to a new independent state.
The people in Sabah, said Anwar in referring to his “meetings with them”, are more disenchanted with neglect, marginalisation, poverty and inequality. “They are not so taken up with the idea of secession. I agree with many of the concerns expressed.”
The thrust of the argument in Sabah and Sarawak is that Putrajaya has been party to illegalities in Sabah in particular, as evident in he Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) Report.
The sentiment on the ground is that Malaysia has no legitimacy in Borneo since Article 1 of MA63 called for a new Federation, called Malaysia, as an Equal Partnership of Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya; and a new Malaysian Constitution. The Federal Government, formerly the Malayan Government, has been in non-compliance on both Federal Government, formerly the Malayan Government, has been in non-compliance on both.