Pandikar chal­lenges crit­ics

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - FRONT PAGE -

KOTA KINABALU: De­wan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mu­lia has is­sued a chal­lenge to those claim­ing to fight for Sabah's rights as en­shrined in the Malaysia Agree­ment 1963 (MA63).

"Show the sin­cer­ity of what you claim to be cham­pi­oning, whether it is for the rakyat or merely po­lit­i­cal rhetoric," he said in a state­ment yes­ter­day.

Pandikar also dared Parti Warisan Sabah (to state) if it would amend Ar­ti­cle 5A in the State Con­sti­tu­tion mak­ing Is­lam no longer the state's of­fi­cial re­li­gion should it get the man­date to form the gov­ern­ment.

The same chal­lenge and ques­tion is di­rected to STAR pres­i­dent Datuk Dr Jef­frey Kitin­gan who claimed that Pandikar had twisted the fact per­tain­ing to the Malaysia Agree­ment 1963.

"I am chal­leng­ing them be­cause they have mis­in­ter­preted the his­tory on Malaysia's for­ma­tion and the leg­is­la­tion to suit their own taste and po­lit­i­cal agenda," he said and stressed that lately, the is­sue of Sabah and Sarawak rights be­ing eroded or ne­glected by the rel­e­vant quar­ters in Kuala Lumpur had been fanned by those with their own po­lit­i­cal agenda.

"I is­sued this state­ment in my ca­pac­ity as a Saba­han and not as the De­wan Rakyat Speaker be­cause this is a very se­ri­ous mat­ter. There are those who take ad­van­tage of this is­sue and are mak­ing state­ments which they claim are what the peo­ple want, as though their opin­ions are what Saba­hans agreed to.

"Since these peo­ple are very keen to cham­pion for Sabah rights which was al­legedly agreed on in the Malaysian Agree­ment 1963, then I chal­lenge them to show the sin­cer­ity of their fight to Saba­hans," he said.

He stressed that the chal­lenge was based on what was pub­lic in­for­ma­tion, that be­fore 1976, in line with what was agreed in the Malaysian Agree­ment 1963, there was no of­fi­cial re­li­gion for Sabah.

How­ever, in 1976, the then Usno gov­ern­ment had changed the sit­u­a­tion by amend­ing the State Con­sti­tu­tion to in­clude a new Ar­ti­cle; Ar­ti­cle 5A which states that Is­lam is Sabah's of­fi­cial re­li­gion.

"Be­fore I re­ply to Yang Ber­hor­mat Darell Leik­ing who is also Parti Warisan Sabah's deputy pres­i­dent's state­ment that was pub­lished in a lo­cal news­pa­per yes­ter­day, I would like him to clearly state whether the party will amend Ar­ti­cle 5A in the State Con­sti­tu­tion mak­ing Is­lam no longer the state's of­fi­cial re­li­gion should it get the man­date to form the gov­ern­ment.

"This ques­tion is also di­rected to Datuk Dr Jef­frey," Pandikar said.

Pandikar Amin

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