Barisan Nasional (BN) will be launching its manifesto next week and it will contain items that are specific for Sabah, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan. And if going by election tradition, that is an indication that parliament may be dissolved next week, he said.
“Chances are, from our past experience, launching of the manifesto is usually done after parliament is dissolved. That is the tradition. I am not sure if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will be holding on to tradition but I am of the opinion that (as) the manifesto is usually launched after the election, you would expect the dissolution to be somewhere next week,” he said.
The BN Strategic Communication director added, “Somebody was telling me (this). I can’t confirm but the launching of the manifesto will be done next week at Bukit Jalil.
Abdul Rahman said the event will be a grand gathering and it will be a show of force to usher in the election.
He said this when met by the media after visiting Taman Wijaya Park and Indah Permai in Menggatal today.
On the manifesto, Abdul Rahman said it contains some specific items for Sabah which the state leaders have fought hard for.
“We, the six Sabahan Cabinet ministers together with Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman and BN Sabah component chiefs, fought hard on these items that are specifically concerns Sabah. So we wait until the launching (and) there would be some nice and surprising items for Sabah,” said the Kota Belud Member of Parliament.
The Malaysia Agreement 1963, Abdul Rahman said will definitely be in the manifesto even though some quarters are saying that it is not necessary as the MA63 is already in the Constitution and the Inter-Governmental Committee.
“I differ with that opinion, I feel that even though an agreement was made before this, the MA63 must be be included in the manifesto and not for review but for implementation,” he stressed.
Abdul Rahman disclosed that he is a member of the National Steering Committee on the Devolution of Powers to Sabah and Sarawak which is jointly chaired by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
He said that the issues discussed in the committee are very technical and very in-depth. The meeting is also attended by the Attorney General and all the senior officers of the relevant ministries.
“So we are moving forward. This is not going to be done overnight because there are a lot of technical issues that need to be resolved but I can assure you that Datuk Seri Anifah and Datuk Seri
Nancy along with all the cabinet members from Sabah and Sarawak are committed to make sure that the spirit of MA63 be restored in accordance to the wish of the Prime Minister who said that that whatever inadvertently or deliberately taken away from Sabah will be returned,” he stressed.
To the question if the Royal Commission of Inquiry on the presence of illegal immigrants in Sabah will be in the BN manifesto, Abdul Rahman is of the opinion that it ought not to be as the manifesto contains items that have not been discussed before and something that BN promises to do in the next five years.
“For the BN government, the manifesto is not a ‘tell all’ document. It cannot be read in isolation… the manifesto must be read together with some of our commitments in some of the big documents that we have launched.
“For example, you read the manifesto with what we have promised in RMK 11, the pledges in TN50 and with the annual budget presented. The decision for the RCI is made, we do not want it to be in the manifesto per say, (as it is) something that is already made known to the people,” he said.