Speaker’s lecture mirrors mainstream thinking of BN leaders – DAP
KOTA KINABALU: The mainstream thinking of Barisan Nasional leaders that Sabah and Sarawak are just like any other states in Malaysia is clearly reflected in Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia’s public lecture on the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63) last weekend.
DAP Sabah secretary cum Sri Tanjong assemblyman Chan Foong Hin said among Pandikar’s key points on issues related to the MA63 which was widely publicised in the media on Monday, included Sabah and Sarawak were never two separate nations, but only British colonies, prior to the formation of Malaysia.
Pandikar also contended that Sabah had never been downgraded to being a state in Malaysia, from being one of three equal partners (along with Sarawak and Malaya) because Sabah and Sarawak were already at the same level as the other states and not (with) the Federation (of Malaya).
He also described claims by certain quarters that Sabah’s rights were not fully executed under the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63) as empty political rhetoric to incite anger and hatred among the people in Sabah.
However, Chan said DAP Sabah disagreed with Pandikar and his intepretations on the subject matter.
“First and foremost, even if Sabah and Sarawak were not nations prior to the formation of Malaysia, but both territories were the signatories to MA63.
“We were the founding members to this federation, and not just one of the states in the federation. Without Sabah and Sarawak, there is no Malaysia,” he said.
The 1976 amendment on Article 1(2) of Federal Constitution have significant implications on the status of Sabah and Sarawak, according to Chan.
Changes in the wordings from three categories of states in Malaysia (States of Malaya, Borneo States, and Singapore) to one catch-all sentence (Malaysia consists of the states with their respective name), had reflected the “no difference” among all the states.
He claimed the historical fact that Sabah and Sarawak were founding partners of this federation, has been deleted from the memory of the ruling party leaders.
“Sabah and Sarawak are never ‘just one of the states’in the federation. Malaysia is an example of asymmetrical design of Federalism, with these two territories have more autonomies which are safeguarded by the constitutional arrangement as enshrined in not only the Federal Constitution, but also MA63 and Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report,” he said.