Sabahans and Sarawakians dissatisfied with Putrajaya's broken promises should vote Barisan Nasional (BN) out of their states to obtain autonomy promised when Malaysia was formed in 1963, PKR leaders representing both states said today.
Sabah PKR chief Datuk Lajim Ukin and his Sarawak counterpart Baru Bian, concurred that while many East Malaysians hold the sentiment that the states should secede from the federation, it would be better to vote Pakatan Rakyat into power, rather than leave.
"Of course we cannot secede or we would be charged for treason. But I think we can ask the voters for a political solution," Baru said in Kajang today.
"We ask voters to look at what we have been doing and that gives an assurance that if we take over the state government, we would be fulfilling the promises made to keep to the 18 and 20-point agreements," he added.
Their comments came following a claim by political analyst James Chin yesterday that Sabah and Sarawak grassroots would like to secede from Malaysia, although chances of it happening is unlikely.
Prior to forming Malaysia, Sabah had entered into a 20-point agreement while Sarawak signed an 18-point agreement to safeguard interests, rights and autonomy of the people in the respective states.
Baru said the ground sentiments were that East Malaysians "felt cheated" and that their living standards are now worse off than those in the peninsula.
"The potential by-election in Balingian and a snap election in Sarawak is an opportunity for Sarawakians to vote for a new government in Sarawak," Baru said.
Lajim also said that "Sabahans are still loyal to Malaysia".
"But many promises made by the federal government have been abandoned," said Lajim.
Dissent by East Malaysians has risen over the widening wealth and opportunities gap between residents in the peninsula and those in Borneo.
Last November, Parliament rejected the motion to review the 18 and 20-point agreements, saying they were "non urgent".
The review of the agreements is supposed to be conducted every decade from the time it was signed in 1962.
However, the reviews are overdue by more than 40 years.
Baru said PKR will review the agreement which brought Sarawak into Malaysia if it wins the next state election. – February 17, 2014.