Rights of Sarawakians & Sabahans secure, says Minister

DAP’s Lim Kit Siang raised the issue of guaranteed rights as inscribed in the Keningau Oath Stone in Sabah in the Dewan Rakyat – FMT Pix

By John Isaac

THERE is no need to raise fears over matters related to freedom of religion, authority over land and the upholding of Sabah and Sarawak’s native customs and traditions, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Maximus Ongkili said.

He said this was because the rights would continue to be protected under the Federal Constitution, Sabah and Sarawak state laws, and through related existing policies.

“If there is any abuse of power which affects the freedom or results in unfair action by any parties against these basic rights, the matter can be brought to court, or raised in Parliament and the state assembly for further action,” he told the Dewan Rakyat as reported by Bernama.

He was replying to Lim Kit Siang (PH-Iskandar Puteri) on the time frame and the government’s plan to table the agreements inscribed on the Keningau Oath Stone.

Maximus said the three agreements on the oath stone, in general, had been stipulated as the guaranteed rights for Sabah under the Federal Constitution.

The three were freedom of religion in Sabah, the government of Sabah having authority over land in the state, and native customs and traditions would be respected and upheld by the government.

The Keningau Oath Stone is a monument erected by the local leaders in 1964, based on the state’s native customs and belief system in Keningau district after Sabah had become part of Malaysia.