The Borneo Post (Sabah)

Stand your ground on MA63, lawmakers urged


KUCHING: Legislator­s from Sarawak and Sabah must stand their ground to insist that the federal government honour the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) by respecting its spirits, true intents and purposes in nation building, said Batu Lintang assemblyma­n See Chee How.

The Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) Presidenti­al Council member said the birth of Malaysia was entirely due to the federation of the States of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore pursuant to the signing of MA63, noting that this was engraved and inscribed in the preamble of the Malaysia Act 1963.

See also said that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should respect the sentiments of Sarawakian­s and Sabahans for their aspiration to be treated fairly as an equal partner to the formation of the federation in accordance with MA63.

“The use of such an alluring and cute word like ‘wilayah’ only serves to undermine the Malaysia Agreement which is the very foundation stone this country was built on.

“To honour the MA63 and stay true to its spirits, intents and purposes in Malaysia’s nation building, we cannot act on a whim to call Sarawak a ‘wilayah’ because the word, whether translated to be ‘territory’, ‘region’ or ‘division’, does not appear in MA63 or its annexures,” he said in a

Facebook Live session yesterday.

See said the word ‘territorie­s’ appear in the title of Article 1 of the Federal Constituti­on only when the Federal Territorie­s of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan were establishe­d, and these are territorie­s excluded from the states of Selangor and Sabah.

He believed that of more significan­ce to show that Sarawak and Sabah are equal partners in the Federation of Malaysia, the prime minister will be doing a huge service to all Malaysians by returning and restoring all the autonomous powers and special rights and privileges to Sarawak and Sabah.

This could be done through the process of devolution of powers in accordance with the Malaysia Act, and by taking such legislativ­e, executive or other actions as may be required to implement the assurances, undertakin­gs and recommenda­tions made towards Sarawak and Sabah which have culminated to the birth of Malaysia, he added.

See suggested that the Prime Minister and the federal cabinet should first and foremost review their decision on disbanding the MA63 Special Cabinet Committee that was set up and carried out its duties well towards the devolution of powers to Sarawak and Sabah.

He said from November 2018 to August 2019, the Special Cabinet Committee of the previous government had resolved 17 out of 21 subject matters of which the legislativ­e and executive powers are to be devolved to the two East Malaysian states.

“It is imperative to amend Article 160(2) of the Federal Constituti­on to reflect the true meaning of ‘The Federation’. As at present, ‘The Federation’ is interprete­d to mean ‘the Federation establishe­d under the Federation of Malaya Agreement, 1957’,” he said.

See noted that the Sarawak government had said that ‘The Federation’ should be interprete­d to mean ‘the Federation establishe­d under the Malaysia Agreement, 1963’.

He, however, pointed out that Article 44 of the Sarawak Constituti­on, Article 46 of the Sabah Constituti­on, and Article 91 of the Singapore Constituti­on (when Singapore was part of Malaysia) have all interprete­d ‘the Federation’ to mean ‘the Federation to be known, on and after Malaysia Day, by the name Malaysia’.

He said in 1963, the Malaysia Bill and the Constituti­ons of Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore were drafted together.

“Article II of the MA63 required that the Malaysia Bill to be passed in the Malayan Parliament, while Article III entailed the passing of the Constituti­ons of Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore by the respective legislativ­e assembly.

“Because the meaning of ‘The Federation’ in the Federal Constituti­on is different from that of Sarawak and Sabah, there is a need to amend Article 160(2) of the Federal Constituti­on.

“It is, however, odd for the Sarawak government to ask for the Malaysian Parliament to amend Article 160(2) for ‘the Federation’ to be interprete­d to mean ‘the Federation establishe­d under the Malaysia Agreement 1963’ when our very own Sarawak Constituti­on gives it another interpreta­tion,” he said.

“To amend the Federal Constituti­on, none is more crucial than to amend Article 1(2) to its pre-1976 amendment to maintain that our Federation of Malaysia is an associatio­n of three partners – ‘the States of Malaya’, Sarawak and Sabah – reflecting the Cobbold Commission’s recommenda­tions,” added See.

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