Thursday, March 18, 2010

Jeffrey seeks talks with PM on new 20 Points deal

Maverick politician Jeffrey Kitingan wants to renegotiate the Malaysia Agreement, the founding document of federation, and is seeking a meeting with the Prime Minister to do so.

He hopes to strike a renewed agreement on the rights of Sabah and Sarawak as members of the Malaysian federation.

He said the two states were in an advantageous position because the federal administration depended on the bloc of MPs from the two states to remain in power. (There are 56 parliamentary seats for the two states out of a total of 222 in the Dewan Rakyat; all but four are held by Barisan Nasional members.)

"Sabah and Sarawak control the Parliament. We control the government. Without Sabah and Sarawak, the present government would have collapsed," he said, in a reference to the crucial importance of the Barisan Nasional's 52 eastern seats underpinning the party's current 56-seat majority in the Dewan Rakyat.

"We can capitalise on this situation and actually bring the federal government to the table and negotiate a new deal, a renewed Malaysia Agreement, a renewed 20 Points,” he said.

Dewan Rakyat 222
Barisan Nasional 138
Pakatan Rakyat 77
Majority 55
Independents 7
Balance of power
Sabah 25 (BN 22 Ind 2 DAP 1)
Sarawak 31 (BN 28 DAP 1)

However, he would need the backing of Sabah's BN leaders to make such a meeting happen.

"If they don't use this opportunity to capitalise on the advantage, that means our leaders are not interested in solving Sabah's problems and are only interested in money."

He said the proposed meeting should include veterans with some knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the formation of Malaysia.

Suspicious observers

He would not go into more detail about his plans, saying: “It's better to go direct and discuss rather than talk about it publicly.”

Anticipating attacks from suspicious observers, he said the proposed meeting had “nothing to do with politics or plans to start a new party”.

Earlier this month, Jeffrey, who is PKR's chief for Sabah and Sarawak, led a delegation from the so-called Common Interest Group of Malaysia on a visit to London where they met members of the British Parliament to present the East Malaysian states' grievances over the Malaysia Agreement, to which Britain was a signatory.

"We consider the British government still responsible for our welfare, our interests and our rights in the Federation of Malaysia as Britain was the one which had handed us to the federation," he said when announcing the visit last month.

courtesy of FreeMalaysiaToday

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