2 legal bodies urged to hold watching briefs in MA63 trial that could affect 30 mln Malaysians

Voon holding the letter of request to SAA to hold a watching brief for the case.

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KUCHING, May 31: Sarawak Advocates Association (SAA) and Sabah Law Society (SLS) have been requested to hold watching briefs over the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) proceedings, given that the case to determine the legality of the formation of Malaysia raises public interest and could affect the life of 30 million Malaysians.

Voon Lee Shan, the legal counsel for 11 Sarawakians who filed the suit against Putrajaya and Sarawak as well as British governments, said that an official letter for the request has been delivered to SAA and emailed to SLS recently.

“The reason to request them (the two legal professional organisations) to seek leave to hold watching briefs of the MA63 trial proceedings is because this is a unique and perhaps the only case in the world where litigants or citizens seek the court to determine the legality of the formation and existence of a nation.

“Therefore, this suit before the court is of public interest as it can affect the lives and rights of more than 30 million Malaysians and that of the life of the Federation of Malaysia, in the event the court makes a decision in favour of the plaintiffs (11 Sarawakians).

“But it is up to them whether they wish to do so or not,” he pointed out in a statement today.

Voon, who is also Parti Bumi Kenyalang president, added that it is important to hold a watching brief to ensure their rights and that of the public are protected as the issues arising from this MA63 suit would be very complex.

“The case would also draw much interest among Malaysians, academicians and legal brains around the world.

“The suit may touch on rights to marine wealth and rights to oil and gas of Sabah and Sarawak under the Petroleum Development Act 1974, Sea Territorial Act 2012 and Continental Shelf Act 1966,” he emphasised.

However, Voon also noted that the governments of Malaysia and Sarawak have applied to strike out the case.

Meanwhile, the 11 plaintiffs led by one Dorus Karan Juman had filed the lawsuit in the Kuching High Court in November last year.

The plaintiffs are seeking, among others, for the court to determine the validity of MA63 which they claim should be void from the beginning due to certain breaches to the foundational terms and thus, the Federation of Malaysia could not be formed. — DayakDaily