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Forget rights and pursue a Malaysian Union instead
Published on: Sunday, December 31, 2017

By Awang Jambul

The PM has announced in Kuching on 24th December 2017 that he wanted to return Sarawak’s rights that have been taken knowingly or unknowingly provided Sarawakians comply with two conditions.

First is there should be no secession from Malaysia by Sarawak.

Second is Sarawakians must support BN.

If I am a Sarawakian, I would not be worried about these two conditions as they are not legally or morally binding nor can you find them in the constitution.

These rights, if they have been taken away must be returned to the states without conditions in order to comply with the Malaysian Constitution.

There is just too much talk about rights having been taken away but no one has given any specifics, not even the PM himself.

This is not satisfactory as all the leaders taking about this subject matter have not bothered to look into the details.

To my mind, the only serious right that has been taken away is the change of status of Sabah and Sarawak from 1/3 partnership to 1/13 partnership. Even this was done by an amendment to the constitution in Parliament to which there was 2/3 majority. If this situation is to be restored, Parliament will need to sit and vote on it.

If the 1/3 partnership can be restored for whatever reason or cannot be agreed by the states concerned, then Sabah and Sarawak can form a union with Malaya following the European Union model as suggested by former Chief Minister Tan Sri Harris Salleh recently.

Of course, a lot of details will need to be worked out first.

Whatever it is, Sabah and Sarawak leaders must now take advantage of acknowledgement and commitment made by the Prime Minister and negotiate for the formation of Malaysian Union.

It is also an opportune time to invite Singapore to form the Union.

Sabah and Sarawak leaders should not miss this chance in a lifetime.

Awang Jambul

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