Friday, 3 October 2014

Resolve MA63 or dissolve Malaysia Partnership

Jeffrey Kitingan wants restoration of Malaysia as an equal partnership of Sabah, Sarawak and the peninsula.

KUALA LUMPUR: Star Sabah Chief Jeffrey Kitingan wants a new Malaysian Constitution to replace the Federal Constitution, as the way to resolve Putrajaya’s non-compliance on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), the basis on which Sabah and Sarawak entered into a federation on Sept 16, 1963 with the peninsular. The MA63 is a constitutional document.

The alternative, warned Jeffrey, was to dissolve the Malaysia partnership.

He was speaking at a public forum, Revisit Malaysia Agreement 1963, in Kuala Lumpur.

“The new Constitution should reflect the status of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners with Malaya,” said Jeffrey who is also the Bingkor Assemblyman and a younger brother of Huguan Siou (Paramount Chief) Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

“Lord Cobbold, the chairman of the Cobbold Commission, held that Malaysia was an equal partnership.”

Lord Cobbold, continued Jeffrey, stressed that since Malaysia was a partnership of nations, there should be no talk of a takeover of Sabah and Sarawak by Malaya or the submergence of the individualities. If there was a takeover, warned Lord Cobbold, Malaysia would be a failure.

Jeffrey claimed that Malayan Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman had also pledged in 1963 that the two Borneo nations would have self-government within Malaysia on the road to independence.

“British documents show that the objective of Malaysia was a confederation,” said Jeffrey. “This means that there would be a two-tier federation, the Federation of Malaya at the lower tier, and Brunei, Singapore, North Borneo, Sarawak and Malaya at the upper tier.”

The reality turned out to be quite different, added Jeffrey. He lamented that Sabah and Sarawak were literally dragged in and downgraded to being the 12th and 13th states in the Malayan Federation, renamed the Malaysian Federation. Article 160 of the Federal Constitution refers.

Jeffrey urged Putrajaya to take heed of the unhappiness in Sabah and Sarawak with the Federal government and not raise the spectre of arrests under the Sedition Act for speaking up.

“We don’t want to leave (Malaysia),” he assured. “The issues in conflict need to be heard and resolved.”

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