KENINGAU: Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) has long advocated for a new Malaysia Agreement between Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya that clearly defines the statuses of each entity.
STAR President Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) was signed on a different premise and at a period when Sabah and Sarawak did not have a voice to agree or disagree with any of the terms in the agreement.
“A new agreement is the only approach to address the question of Malaysia. I am glad that Barisan Nasional (BN) deputy chairman Dato’ Seri Mohamad Hasan mentioned a new agreement, however I do not necessarily agree with his reasoning.
“For STAR, we want the new deal to allow us greater independence and freedom for us to move forward. Sabahans do not wish to be bound down to Malaya’s agenda.
“When it comes to financial and development issues, Sabah and Sarawak must have the freedom to dictate our own future according to our own aspiration, not the federal’s,” he said when met after launching the Majlis Kepimpinan Mengenai Isu-Isu Semasa with local leaders here today.
Concerning Sabah BN chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin’s statement that Sabah BN will decide on its relationship with Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS), Kitingan said that Sabah BN, like any political party, has the right to decide on its own political direction without coercion or influence from outside elements.
“For STAR, we are patient, and we are waiting to see what Sabah BN decides. We are not in a hurry, and we don’t want to jump the guns.
“It could have just been a political statement, I don’t know. I also could say that STAR has ten options. But I do hope it is just a political statement,” he said.
Commenting on the event today, Kitingan said the meeting was necessary to inform local leaders about several current issues particularly the special committee on undocumented foreign workers and foreign nationals in Sabah.
He believed the government must explain why it is necessary to develop a database for these people in order to address the long-standing issue once and for all.
“We are not going to give these people documentation, let alone citizenship! The government’s stance is firm. All illegal immigrants must be deported, that has never changed. But we’ll need some kind of database to keep track of them.
“Those who spread misinformation and are constantly slandering the Sabah government, saying that we want to give IC to these illegals, they are liars. This is how they manipulate the people in order to cover up their own failure.
“And now, they seek to exacerbate the problem with dubious slogans like ‘Sabah kita punya’ (Sabah is ours); who are these ‘kita’? The illegal immigrants?” he said.
More importantly, Kitingan said the meeting’s goal was to inform grassroots leaders about the government’s plans so that they could go back to the people and address all of their questions.
He also stated that by arming them with this knowledge, local leaders and the public will be less susceptible to manipulation by the opposition’s propaganda machineries.