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Monday, January 23, 2017

Dissolve the Federation If Borneo Rights Ignored and Violated in MA63

KOTA KINABALU -  “There is no point for Sabah and Sarawak to be in Malaysia if their rights and autonomy ignored and violated by the Malayan controlled Federal government,” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, President of STAR who is also the Assemblyman for Bingkor, Keningau, who has been a long-time proponent for the restoration and implementation of Sabah and Sarawak rights in Malaysia.

“The Federation might as well be dissolved and each partner go separate ways and chart their own future rather than continue to be the subservient and marginalized 12th and 13th States of Malaya” he added.

It needs to be reminded that in a federal system, the federation exists only by virtue of powers assigned by the component nation-states. The residual powers or powers not specifically assigned remain with the component states and not with the federation. It is not the reverse and the federation does not lord over the component states. 

“The basis for Sabah and Sarawak agreeing to form Malaysia are their special rights and specified autonomy. These rights are spelled out in the various constitutional documents including the IGC Report, 20-Points and the Batu Sumpah in Keningau” Jeffrey said.

Article 8 of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) also specified how these rights and assurances are to be implemented – some through specific provisions in the Federal Constitution and others by legislative, executive and other actions by the respective governments of the Federation of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak.

“But where is the government of the Federation of Malaya today?” asked Dr. Jeffrey.

“Disappointingly, after 54 years since MA63 was signed, most of the assurances and promises were ignored and not implemented” he complained.

Sabah is constitutionally entitled to 40% of the net revenue derived from Sabah. It is expressly provided in the Federal Constitution but it continues to be violated despite my several years of highlighting the non-compliance of this provision.

“So what is the basis for being in the Federation of Malaysia or to continue to remain?” queried Dr. Jeffrey.

It is pointless to have a hearing to obtain inputs of political parties and the public this coming 26th January.  The Federal and Sabah governments must show sincerity. Furthermore, the hearing appears to be a contradictory stand by the Government when in 2016 a motion to obtain endorsement by a bipartisan State Assembly was rejected for debate.

The rejection only shows insincerity.

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