Sarawak’s PSB said would’ve made a point on MA63 in bipartisan MoU if it was part of discussion

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Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh addresses a press conference in Kuching January 23, 2021. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh addresses a press conference in Kuching January 23, 2021. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, Sept 15 — Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) today said it would have strongly pushed for Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) to be among the key points in the bipartisan deal between Putrajaya and Pakatan Harapan (PH) if it had been part of its discussion.

The opposition party’s president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh said one of the items would have been the reversion of Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to its original wordings before it was amended in 1976.

“As it is, MA63 is very much a footnote in the subject of compromise between PH and the federal government, with Sarawakians in danger of being taken for granted,” he said in a statement.

He said MA63 in the deal is scant in details and sounded more like rhetoric at best, not unlike the “Wilayah Sarawak” promise of former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin while on an official visit to the state early this year.

“In the very same ‘spirit of MA63’, I expect PSB and Parti Warisan Sabah to be consulted for mutual agreement prior to the confirmation and signing of the MoU with the federal government,” he said.

“PSB unreservedly and unconditionally supports Sarawak’s autonomy as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963. This is a matter of utmost importance which we will never compromise for Fairland Sarawak,” he said.

However, Wong said PSB was not invited by PH to attend the briefing on the contents of the MoU on Transformation and Political Stability signed two days ago.

“However, even if we had been invited to attend the briefing, it should be obvious that being briefed on the outcome is not the same as having a say in the negotiations,” he said.

Wong, who is a former Sarawak second minister of finance, agreed with the contention by Parti Warisan Sabah Youth chief Datuk Azis Jamman that Opposition parties outside PH should not be made “rubber stamps” in the MoU.

He added PSB will support any genuine reforms that are good for the country and people in line with what PH had proposed, with the blessings and mandate of the people during the 2018 general election.

He said any reforms must come with the government’s ability to perform, adding that the people have suffered enough and that lives and livelihood must be given full and immediate attention under the new norm.

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