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KUCHING, Sept 13: A total of 11 Sarawakian and Sabahan NGOs as well as one registered overseas remind Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob that there will be no political stability if Putrajaya continues to ignore the fact that Sarawak and Sabah deserve one-third of parliamentary seats, as stipulated in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
In a statement today, the 12 NGOs pointed out that one-third seat allocation is a term within MA63 and the 34.6 per cent seat allocation is to be a veto bloc, which is a foundational term agreed to and entrenched in Article 46 of the Federal Constitution, as a condition to form the federation.
“This was stressed in the House of Lords by Lord Lansdowne who stated this was the ‘decisive factor’ that convinced Sabah and Sarawak agreement with MA63.
“The Malayan gesture of goodwill in agreeing that the Borneo States with a population of 1.25 million out of a total of 10 million should have 40 out of 159 seats in the federal Parliament, was a decisive factor in convincing the Borneo leaders that there was no question of a takeover bid, but a genuine offer of real partnership’,” the leaders of the 12 NGOs quoted Lansdowne.
To them, in 1965, Singapore freely exited Malaysia but its seats were not allocated to Sabah and Sarawak. Instead, Malaya took them and was then able to override Sabah and Sarawak objections and “tear up” MA63 (if valid) by removing all the entrenched guarantees in the Federal Constitution.
They said local parties from both political divide must get their act together and push Putrajaya on greater Borneo representation to insist on restoring the Federal Constitution’s Article 46 on seat allocation so that Sabah and Sarawak are allocated 34.6 per cent of parliamentarian seats.
“We put the federal government on notice that if it persists on not faithfully complying with MA63, we would be forced to seek the alternative option of independence from the Federation.
“We believe that if MA63 was a valid international treaty, it has been terminated by the federal government’s multiple breaches of the entrenched foundational MA63 rights and this entitles Sabah and Sarawak to seek the alternative option for independence as Singapore did in 1965,” said the leaders.
These 11 NGOs from the Borneo Territories are Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (BOPIMAFO), represented by its president Daniel John Jambun, Gindol Initiative for Civil Society Borneo (chairman Kanul Gindol), Sarawak Association for People’s Aspiration (president Dominique Ng), Republic of Sabah, North Borneo Association (president, Moses P Anap), Persatuan Kebudayaan Kebajikan Ekonomi Mamasok Sabah (president, Richard Jimmy), Pertubuhan Kebudayaan Rumpun Dayak Sabah (president Cleftus Spine Mojingol), Persatuan Prihatin Mualaf Sabah (president Wainin Setimin), Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (deputy president, Ambru Kadir), Dayak National Congress (president, Paul Raja), Society For Rights of Indigenous People (Secretary General Michael Jok) and Dayak Think-Tank Association Sarawak, represented by its founder Willie Henry Malang and president Elias Lipi Mat.
The only overseas NGO is Sabah, Sarawak Rights Australia New Zealand which is represented by its president, Robert Pei. — DayakDaily