Return of Sarawak’s rights meaningless if BN not given mandate in GE14 — Hishammuddin

Posted on : 10 Apr 2018  Source of News: borneo post online

Hishammuddin (seated, centre) and Abang Johari (seated, second left) during the press conference. — Photo by Chimon Upon

Hishammuddin pins the Honorary Brigadier General rank on Abang Johari. — Photo by Tan Song Wei

KUCHING: The return of Sarawak’s autonomous rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) will be meaningless if Sarawakians do not give Barisan Nasional (BN) the mandate this coming 14th General Election (GE14).

Thus, they ought to continue being with BN this GE14 to maintain the existing government which has always been honest and sincere in planning for the future of the people and the state, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

“Putrajaya is open for discussion on restoring Sarawak’s rights under MA63 unless the previous administration did not show any concern for the agreement and took lightly any violation concerning MA63.

“However, these will all be meaningless if Sarawak is unsafe, unstable and does not have a big mandate to ensure that what is being planned can be implemented,” he told a press conference held in conjunction with ‘Program Jelajah Perkasa Perwira’ and the conferring of Honorary Brigadier General rank to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at the 1st Infantry Division Headquarters in Muara Tuang Camp here yesterday.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has time and time again reiterated his commitment to restore Sarawak’s rights under MA63, which was included in the BN manifesto, he pointed out.

Hishammuddin, who is also Special Functions Minister, assured Sarawakians of the commitment by the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) to protect and defend Sarawak no matter what as well as to ensure that the state continues to be safeguarded from threats from outsiders.

In line with the commitment, he said 20 new border posts would be set up at the borders of Malaysia and Indonesia, 15 of which would in Sarawak and the rest in Sabah.

“In Sarawak, the posts will be established to protect the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), Upper Rajang Development Agency (Urda), Highland Development Agency (HDA) and Northern Region Development Agency (NRDA).

“I have informed and discussed this with the Chief Minister on this new initiative and the state government has expressed their support with the commitment given by ATM,” he remarked, adding that the ATM and Indonesian Army (TNI-AD) combined post and Trilateral Cooperative Arrangement (TCA) initiative proved the commitment by his ministry and ATM to protect this region.

As such, he pointed out that a strong mandate is crucial to ensure that the neighbouring country will continue to work together with Malaysia to assist in ensuring the security of Sarawak and Sabah.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister for emphasising on MA63 in the BN manifesto, which he said was very much welcomed by the people of Sarawak and Sabah.

“This can realise the concept of development throughout the country and at the end of the day, what we want is a strong country with continuous stabile politics for a bright future ahead for the people,” he said.