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Be responsible and accountable, Warisan tells Ongkili


Ben Mansul and Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis

25 Sept 2021


KOTA KINABALU : Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) today took to task Minister In the Prime Minister's Dept (Sabah & Sarawak Affairs), Datuk Dr. Maximus Ongkili over his statement that Warisan Plus had ‘merely managed to revoke the fee order over the Sipadan/Ligitan Islands’, while the reassignment of administrative powers of both islands was done under the tenure of the present Government.


Wirawati Warisan Chief, Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis said that while what Ongkili said was half the truth, the ultimate fact remained that it was only through Warisan Plus that Sabahans finally broke past the wall that had effectively imprisoned the Malaysia Agreement 1963 for decades.


"Instead of belittling Warisan Plus by continuously alleging that whatever we had worked for and achieved in respect of the MA63 during our tenure of 17 months as Federal Ministers and Deputy Ministers as 'merely principles', Ongkili should be grateful that the infamous Sheraton Move had not only allowed him to bask in glory, but continue to complete the greatest challenge that failed many Sabahan leaders before us. But strangely some 18 months after the Sheraton Move, not much has been done to date.


“It is very unbecoming for Ongkili to belittle the solid groundwork to restore MA63 that rose from the hard work of passionate Sabahans in the likes of Zainnal Ajamain who travelled all over the State, using his own money just to educate Sabahans, and also the assertiveness shown by Warisan President Datuk Shafie Apdal, Warisan Deputy President Datuk Darell Leiking and the late Datuk Liew Vui Keong (who had been entrusted to work on the MA63 during his tenure as Minister of Law) in honouring what Warisan Plus had pledged to Sabahans in forming the State Government in 2018,” she said in a statement today.


"Let us imagine for a minute that if MA63 was a ‘human being’ and a prisoner at that. The MA63 will in no uncertain terms surely rebuke Ongkili over his statement and tell him: 'at least Warisan Plus managed to tear down the wall that had imprisoned MA63 for decades in a mere 17 months whereas Ongkili had nothing to be proud of except that for the past 35 years it had occasionally demanded my release during its party's annual AGM'.”


Munirah who is also Kota Belud MP added that the assertion by Ongkili that “there was no requirement to disclose the on-going discussion over MA63 due to its technicality and confidentiality” most certainly run contrary to the spirit of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that Ismail Sabri had recently signed with Pakatan Harapan (PH).


The DAP Supremo, Lim Kit Siang recently stated that the MOU stipulates full disclosure in accordance with the principles of transparency and accountability and I believe what he meant is 'there should be full disclosure with transparency and accountability on whatever matters deemed important to both parties which have been annexed to the MoU' and interestingly, the MA63 is one of them.


In the midst of all the clamouring and white noise by those calling for Warisan and Shafie to partake in the MOU, it is now incumbent to think with wisdom and discernment whether it will be wise and prudent to do so, she added.


“What benefit would it bring to the party (Warisan) or Sabahans as a whole, when by Ongkili’s own statement on the 'no-requirement to disclose', he has implicitly told us that Ismail Sabri's Government has no intention to honour the MA63 which had been annexed with the MOU?


“Whether Warisan is a part of the MOU or otherwise, Maximus remains bound to disclose the progress of the four unresolved issues, owing to its nature of public interest and the fact that it has been annexed in the agreement. Since Ongkili mentioned that the issues are classified under the Official Secrecy Act (OSA), then Warisan has intention to bear the ineffectiveness and inefficiency on the part of Prime Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri's Government over the matter (four unresolved issues) by sitting in a bi-partisan meeting," she said.


Meanwhile, Warisan Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ben Mansul pointed out that Ongkili had wrongly stated during the Thursday sitting that he (Ongkili) had met with Munirah earlier in the morning over the four unresolved issues in implementing the MA63.


"Someone informed me that Munirah had met with Ongkili earlier in the morning and discussed in detail about the four remaining unresolved issues on MA63, which is obviously untrue as the both of us were with the Minister of Environment Ibrahim Man at that material time to discuss the floods affecting Kota Belud.


“And when I perused the Hansard, I was shocked to read that Ongkili had said it in the Chamber that he met with Munirah earlier in the morning over the four unresolved issues of MA63, and to avoid Warisan members from believing that we had been updated on the matter, I wish to categorically state here that no meeting or discussion on the same or any matter at all were held between Munirah and Ongkili,” he stated.


“Warisan will seek for further explanation from Maximus on what he had said and/or alleged," he added.