MA63: State govt urged to state stand
KOTA KINABALU: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sabah has called on the state government to state its stand on the recent remarks by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, with regard to the position of Sabah and Sarawak in the Federation of Malaysia.
In a response issued yesterday, PKR Sabah chairman Christina Liew said it was regrettable to read that Pandikar tried to twist the historical facts of Malaysia’s formation.
“It is an undisputed fact that Malaysia was formed by four parties, namely Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak. There would be no Malaysia today without Sabah and Sarawak involved. The Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) is valid and legally binding.
“Now to have a senior Sabah leader like Pandikar to deny the historical facts, and by doing so amounts to twisting the interpretation of the Malaysia Agreement, is a distortion of history,” she contended.
Liew was responding to Pandikar’s remarks made in his speech at a public forum on the MA63, held here last weekend, among others denying claims that Sabah was downgraded to being a state in Malaysia from being one of three equal partners, along with Sarawak and Malaya, by citing that under Chapter 2 (10) of MA63, Sabah was a former colony federated along with the federated states of Malaya.
He was also reported to have opined that documents in relation to the history of Malaysia’s formation such as the 20-Point Memorandum and the Cobbold Commission Report merely contained recommendations (in forming Malaysia) and negotiations following various meetings at that time, but they are not legally binding agreements.
Liew, who is also Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sabah chairman, added that while anyone including Pandikar can claim to be an expert on Federal Constitution, it is nonetheless important that the State government of Sabah must declare its position on what Pandikar had commented.
“Is the state government of Sabah, especially the Chief Minister in agreement with Pandikar’s views on Sabah’s position in the Federation of Malaysia?
“The Sarawak state government had tabled a similar issue in their State Legislative Assembly for debate. Is the Sabah state government going to allow the elected representatives, especially from the opposition side, to table the motion and allow debate on this important issue in the coming Dewan sitting?” she asked.
Liew, who is also the Api-Api assemblywoman, also maintained that most of the terms and conditions agreed in the MA63 and later incorporated into the Federal Constitution, were either repealed or unfulfilled to this day.
“One glaring example is the non-fulfillment of the 40% net revenue entitlement due to Sabah under the Federal Constitution.
“It’s rather ashamed that such a learned senior Sabah leader like Pandikar had no qualms or whatsoever to distort the historical and constitutional facts to deny his very own state and its people their constitutional rights, for whatever hidden agenda he has,” she said.
She also quipped that it was not surprising that Pandikar had gone all out to try to justify the federal government’s mistreatment of Sabah all these years, considering the fact that he owes his current position and perks that come with it to the federal government.
“Besides, he had also in April this year declared his fervent intention to contest in the 14th general election,” she added.
It was previously reported that Pandikar, who now heads the United Sabah Bumiputera Organisation (USBO), once an NGO to cater for the Bajau groups, had said he was well prepared to be a candidate for elections.
Pandikar, who was once head of the now defunct AKAR, previously was Umno Kota Marudu head but he relinquished that post when he was appointed Dewan Rakyat Speaker in 2008.