Monday, 23 November 2015

Jambun: Seek point of law ruling on Nurul

Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya being together appear to be a Trust Arrangement under UN Resolution 1541 (XV) Principle IX.

KOTA KINABALU: Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar’s threat to bring “treason” charges against Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar for appearing in a picture with Jacel Kiram of the defunct Sulu Sultanate is easier said than done, said a human rights activist in Sabah. He cautioned against stirring a hornet’s nest on Malaysia in Borneo. “The Lahad Datu intruders from Sulu, for one, claimed that they were promised land, by the authorities, in eastern Sabah. That’s already ‘treason’, from the Borneo perspective.”

“Besides, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague did not allow Manila to be a party to its hearings on Sipadan (and Ligitan), thereby refusing to consider the so-called Sabah claim.”

Daniel John Jambun, who heads the UK-based Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (Bopim), assumes that what Khalid probably means is that he will recommend, and that the Attorney General will bring, treason charges against Nurul.

In any case, added Daniel, perhaps AG Mohd Apandi Ali should first get a point of law ruling from the Federal Court, sitting as the Constitutional Court, on what the framers of the Federal Constitution meant by treason (and sedition) and whether they apply to Sabah and Sarawak. “Article 160 of the Federal Constitution defines Federation as the Malayan Federation.”

“Sabah and Sarawak never entered the Malayan Federation. They are not signatories to the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1948 and therefore do not come under the Federation of Malaya Independence Act of 1957.”

If Article 160 means that the Malayan Federation is the basis of the greater Malaysian Federation, argues Daniel, the question that arises is whether this greater Federation still remains the Malayan Federation with Sabah and Sarawak “incorporated” therein, knowingly or unknowingly, or whether the greater Federation is a Federation of Malaya (now known as Malaysia), Sabah (North Borneo) and Sarawak. “We can leave Singapore out of the equation since it actually merged with Malaya in 1963, Sabah and Sarawak facilitating the process, and besides it has since exited the merger.”

The point of law ruling is important, stressed Daniel, since the Malayan Government has been in non compliance on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), and related constitutional documents, the basis for Sabah and Sarawak to be in Federation with the peninsula (with or without Singapore).

Seeking the point of law ruling, continued Daniel, can also help decide whether treason charges can be brought based on the contents of the Royal Commission Inquiry (RCI) Report on the illegal immigrant phenomenon in Sabah and Jamalul Kiram turning up at the Umno General Assembly in 2012. “The jury is still out on whether Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak shaking hands recently with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can be included as well in all the potential treason charges the AG has to consider.”

Indeed, in proceeding further he said, the 1MDB scandal and the RM2.6 billion political “donation” controversy can also be settled in Court through treason charges.

Daniel expressed confidence that the Constitutional Court would not be able to interpret the Federal Constitution as including Sabah and Sarawak within its ambit for treason or sedition. “The Court should not stop there, and in giving written grounds for its ruling, must touch on the constitutional issue of Malaya (now Malaysia) being in Borneo.”

If the Court finds that Sabah and Sarawak are members of the Malayan Federation (now Malaysian Federation), then Sabah and Sarawak would come within the ambit of the Federal Constitution on treason (and sedition), conceded Daniel.

Again, that would raise two constitutional issues.

Firstly, the Malayan/Malaysian Government’s non-compliance on MA63 and the related constitutional documents on Sabah and Sarawak being in Federation with the peninsula (with or without Singapore).

Secondly, said Daniel, it would raise the constitutional issue of the Intention of the Founding Fathers in Borneo on the 1963 Arrangements with Malaya, Singapore and the United Kingdom with or without the UN Secretary-General.

The bottomline, urged Daniel, is to exercise caution in Borneo, indeed not open Pandora’s Box, but instead put the past behind and proceed with Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem’s push for Sabah and Sarawak to regain their full autonomy. “That’s the status that Sabah and Sarawak had in 1963 and in line with MA63.”

“The idea of Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya being together, with or without Federation, may not have been envisaged to be a permanent arrangement. It appears to be a Trust Arrangement under UN Resolution 1541 (XV) Principle IX.”



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