“Soon after the 14th general election, Najib lies by telling Malaysians that Barisan Nasional could not accomplish its mission to “return the rights of Sabahans and Sarawakians” because the coalition lost the 14th general election”
Raggie Jessy Rithaudeen
نجيب بنتو سابوتج اوسها محضير بنتو بورنيو
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that Malaysian companies should be encouraged to invest in Sabah and Sarawak which he says have strong potential for growth.
According to the embattled former Prime Minister, the East Malaysian states were rich in natural resources, while Indonesia is moving its administrative capital to Kalimantan.
The over the top, pro-Borneo gesture comes on the heels of Barisan Nasional’s dismal performance during the recently held Sabah election and the potential for there to be an election in Sarawak.
In 2018, the coalition bagged 17 seats in Sabah, down 14 from its tally in 2013 at state level. On the 26th of September 2020, it dropped another three points, while the DAP, branded “anti-Muslim” and all by UMNO, performed way better with the Bumiputra Muslim community than it did in 2018.
Perhaps it is this that worries Najib.
Should there be a general election within the coming few months, it is highly likely that Barisan Nasional will take a further dip both in Sabah and Sarawak in terms of its parliamentary seat count, dashing all hopes for the coalition to return to power.
Najib is trying to impress upon Sabahans and Sarawakians that he cares for Borneo, long considered a victim of Barisan Nasional’s political bigotry.
For decades, the coalition has been accused of ‘robbing’ Sabah and Sarawak of their natural resources for the benefit of several ‘elite-controlled’ states in the peninsula.
However, between the years 2009 and 2018, when leaders from Borneo spoke of possible amendments to the Federal Constitution to restore the status of Sabah and Sarawak pursuant to terms under the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63), nothing was done, apart from the occasional “media dressing” and promises by Najib that he would look into the matter.
It was only after Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad began talking about possible amendments to the Federal Constitution did Najib suddenly announce that his administration had “no intention and right to take anything that rightfully belongs to Sabah and its people as provided for in the Malaysia Agreement 1963.”
That was in November 2017, five months ahead of the 14th general election.
Three months later, Najib had yet to do anything and spoke only of “plans to set up a high-level committee to discuss the matter.”
In contrast, by March 2019, barely a year after coming into power, Mahathir stayed true to his word and met representatives from the Sabah and Sarawak governments to discuss possible amendments to the Federal Constitution.
Although some issues were unresolved, Minister of Law in the Prime Minister’s Department, Liew Vui Keong, announced that the cabinet had agreed to amend Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution and that the amendment would be tabled in parliament on the 11th of March 2019.
On the 4th of April 2019, a bill proposing an amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia was finally tabled in the Dewan Rakyat.
However, despite six hours of debate during the second reading of the bill, on 9th of April 2019, only 138 MPs supported the bill, 10 short of the two-thirds required for amendments to the Federal Constitution.
Do you know why?
Because 16 Members of Parliament were absent, 8 did not participate and 59 abstained from voting, including all UMNO, MCA and MIC Members of Parliament.
Yes, even Najib.
And to think that Najib is now telling Sabahans and Sarawakians that he cares for them, when it is he, who, along with other Barisan Nasonal Members of Parliament, sabotaged efforts by Mahathir to give Sabah and Sarawak what it deserved.
Soon after the 14th general election, Najib even lied about the whole affair, telling all and sundry that Barisan Nasional could not accomplish its mission to “return the rights of Sabahans and Sarawakians” because the coalition lost the 14th general election.
And now he expects Sabah and Sarawak to believe that he cares?