Disappointed: MA63 suit postponed without prior notice, plaintiffs’ counsel claims

Peli holding a media conference at Kuching Court Complex today (May 5, 2023).

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, May 5: The decision on whether to strike out the MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963) suit has been postponed without prior notification leading to discontentment among supporters of the plaintiffs who turned up at Kuching High Court Complex today.

Counsel for the plaintiffs, Peli Aron, expressed dismay over the last-minute notification.

“I think we deserve to be treated better than this. The rule is, if you postpone anything, you need to give one week’s notice, not (at the) last minute, because people came from different places, some from Sibu, some from Sri Aman, and some from other places. There are expenses incurred. 

“Also, this is a matter of public interest for the whole of Sarawak. So we really express our disappointment at this point,” Peli told the media after being informed of the postponement. 

He said there had been three postponements so far—March 30, April 20, and May 5 and, according to him, the defence party, the Attorney General’s Office, were only informed this morning.  

Peli (sixth left) and supporters of the MA63 suit turned up at Kuching Court Complex today (May 5, 2023).

The MA63 suit was filed by 11 Sarawakians seeking the court to declare the MA63 null and void. 

According to a statement issued by another counsel of the plaintiffs, Voon Lee Shan, yesterday, the plaintiffs submitted that even if the treaty is valid, it is void due to the fundamental breaches for the past 50 years.

“Our arguments, among other things, was that Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore (SSS), being still colonies, had no legal capacity to sign the Agreement with the UK (United Kingdom) as at the time of signing the Agreement, SSS, being still colonies of UK, had no legal capacity to sign the Agreement. 

“We based our argument on the Chagos Islands case delivered by the International Court of Justice on February 25, 2019. The colonial Attorney General Peh Pike also opined the same,” said Voon.

He also questioned if the High Court has jurisdiction to hear the suit because this court existed even before Malaysia was formed.

It was previously called the High Court of Borneo, now renamed the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak only recently. 

“We also argued that Cobbold Commission Report was used to overcome United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1514 was a fraud. 

“None of the members in the Cobbold Commission could understand the local dialects or languages of peoples of Sarawak. They were handpicked to give favourable reports to ensure Malaysia was formed. Without the Cobbold Commission Report, there could not be a Malaysia Agreement being drafted to be signed by the parties,” said Voon.

Voon, who was formally Batu Lintang assemblyman, is now the president of Parti Bumi Kenyalang, while Peli is the vice president. — DayakDaily