Fadillah Yusof says Dewan Rakyat speaker Pandikar Amin is not mandated by PM to resolve grievances over Sarawak’s rights and there is no need for him to challenge anyone to a debate.
PETALING JAYA: Sarawak BN Youth chief Fadillah Yusof today told Pandikar Amin Mulia not to “teach” Sarawakians about the state’s standing in Malaysia and of the importance of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
He said the Dewan Rakyat speaker, who is a native of Sabah, had the right to air his personal views but did not need to challenge Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg to a debate on the matter.
Fadillah, who is also works minister and youth chief of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), which is part of Sarawak’s ruling BN coalition, said Pandikar should not also judge the people of Sarawak over the issue.
“Furthermore, he is not the individual who has been mandated by the prime minister to resolve this matter,” Fadillah said in a statement.
On Nov 27, Pandikar had said that there was no reason to claim that Sabah and Sarawak had equal status with Malaya. Instead, he said, all states were equal in Malaysia.
He said he would gladly debate the issue outside of Parliament.
He blamed “irresponsible voices out there” for saying that the rights of Sabahans and Sarawakians had been taken away.
Johari later said he begged to differ, stressing that the MA63 was a very important document as it was the basis for the territorial rights of Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.
To this, Pandikar said yesterday it did not matter if Johari did not agree.
Asked if he was willing to debate with Johari on the matter, Pandikar had said: “Oh yes. If he wants to debate with me I will welcome it.”
Fadillah today said Johari’s efforts to regain the state’s rights were in line with the interests and desires of the people of the state.
The works minister said they were based on research done together with what was within the Federal Constitution and the law.
He said Prime Minister Najib Razak had agreed to look into the matter and had formed a joint committee to further deliberate over it.
“This is a positive development and we welcome the prime minister’s suggestion that the matter be brought to the negotiating table,” Fadillah said.
He added that the state BN Youth believed that the matter would be resolved through the coalition’s consensual spirit under the leadership of Johari and Najib.
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