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By Karen Bong and Nancy Nais
KUALA LUMPUR, April 10: Provisions in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) must be included in the Federal Constitution Article 1(2) Amendment Bill as they form the basis for the formation of Malaysia.
Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chief whip-cum-Petra Jaya MP Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof explained that the clause shall be read as “The States of the Federation shall be in pursuant with Malaysia Agreement 1963”:-
(a) The federated states of Malaya namely Johore, Kedah, Kelantan, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Selangor and Terengganu; and
(b) The Borneo States of Sabah and Sarawak.
“For us, the word Borneo States of Sabah and Sarawak is important, which is why we have the Court of Borneo comprising of Sabah and Sarawak in which the status is at par,” he elaborated when debating the Bill after it was tabled for second reading by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Parliament this afternoon.
“We welcome the amendment to include MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963)in its original position as the basis of formation of Malaysia, else Malaysia did not exist,” he pointed out.
Beluran MP Ronald Kiandee then interjected to question the insistence on the wording ‘pursuant to MA63 must be there in the Federal Constitution’.
“But how do you reconcile as the formation of the Federal Constitution is based on MA63 to include Sabah and Sarawak in the Federation?” he asked.
Ronald said that the spirit of MA63 was already there as he read the clause: “The Federation shall be known, in Malay and in English, by the name Malaysia.
The States of the Federation shall be – (a) the States of Malaya… (the 11 states in Peninsula); and (b) the Borneo States namely Sabah and Sarawak.”
He argued that it was already there because of the spirit of MA63 and the word MA63 need not be added to reflect the spirit.
Fadillah, who acknowledged the views of the Sabahan leader, however, said he might not have fully understood the spirit in the context of Sarawak.
“All the agreements in the formation of Malaysia were accorded in (MA) 1963. When we formed Malaysia, the agreement as equal partners to form Malaysia, else we would not have all the rights today.
“The MA63 was not being referred at all in the Constitution, and this is why we viewed that if MA63 was not part of the Constitution, this is the question we want to raise as we viewed that it is extremely important to be included,” he said.
In the context of Sarawak, Fadillah pointed out that consultation was the focal point even though it was not necessary for this amendment unless it fell under the concurrent list.
“But it is important for us in the restoration as equal partners that formed Malaysia. So it is important to refer to Sarawak through the Consultative Committee which hears and discuss all views and bring the recommendations for considerations to the central government.
“It is better that these be discussed in the Consultative Committee level as this will give better views and enhance the ties in matters to amend the Constitution,” he emphasised.
If the word ‘pursuant to MA63’ is included, Fadillah said GPS would consider to whether support the amendment Bill.
“It must reflect the aspirations of Sarawak as MA63 will outline the rights agreed when we formed Malaysia. We must remember that prior to Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak was a country and they let go of the rights to become a state with the agreement that we will be given special rights, so it is important to be included,” he said. — DayakDaily