Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Sabah lawmaker to push for special committee to review Malaysia Agreement

PKR's Darell Leiking says if Parliament had allowed a Special Committee be established earlier to hear the opinions of nationalist groups from Sabah and Sarawak, there will be no talk of secession now.

KOTA KINABALU, Jan 26, 2015: A Sabah lawmaker is urging fellow parliamentarians to support a proposal to establish a special committee to review the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

Penampang Member of Parliament Darell Leiking, in making the call, said he would be resubmitting a motion for the setting up of the committee when Parliament convenes.

Leiking first submitted the motion in Parliament two years ago, but it was rejected as it was not considered an urgent matter.

He was responding on the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail’s recent statement on the position of Sabah within the Federation of Malaysia.

Gani also called for a proper and rational discussion as to whether all the safeguards intended to protect the interests of East Malaysian states, prior to formation of Malaysia, had been properly observed.

Leiking said it was important to attend to the root causes as to why disgruntled Sabahans and Sarawakians were talking about secession these days.

The PKR politician believed the current discontent was due to sentiments that Sabah and Sarawak had been grossly marginalised all these years.

With the A-G’s suggestion for discussion on the issue, Leiking said there was an urgency to take another look at the Malaysia Agreement 1963, especially when there were so many issues being raised by Sabah and Sarawak nationalists.

“By doing so, we will be able to conclude whether the Federation of Malaysia today is what Sabah and Sarawak had aspired it to be in 1963.”

Leiking pointed out that more Sabahans were now talking about the marginalisation of Sabah, with some local politicians even complaining about the state’s poor conditions in their speeches during the tabling of the federal Budget in Parliament.

“If Sabah’s BN MPs themselves are complaining, what more of the ordinary Sabahans on the street?
“So how could the BN-led federal government be oppressive towards the ordinary Sabahans who are merely voicing out their displeasure with how Sabah is being treated?”

He said the establishment of this Special Committee, which was promised to be formed every 10 years from the date of formation of Malaysia, would have been able to conduct the review and ascertain which parts of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and its Annexures had not been fulfilled or performed.

Had Parliament allowed the Special Committee be established in the first place and let the opinions of these nationalist groups from Sabah and Sarawak be heard through this committee, Leiking said he was certain that there would be no talk of secession now.

“Unless it is the intention of West Malaysia to colonise Sabah and Sarawak, let me state here that being equal partners, no one is higher than Sabah and Sarawak.

“Surely not even the federal government, since without Sabah and Sarawak, there will be no federal government in the first place.”

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