MA63 the ‘birth certificate’ of Malaysia, says Tasik Biru rep

Datuk Henry Harry Jinep - file pic

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, April 30: The inclusion of the wordings ‘Pursuant to Malaysia Agreement 1963’ in the proposed bill to amendment Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution is pertinent as this will clearly define with clarity the equal status of Sarawak in the Federation of Malaysia.

Tasik Biru assemblyman Henry Jinep said Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Inter-Governmental Committee Report (IGC Report) cannot be changed or amended by Parliament.

“The status and rights of Sarawak remain as agreed in the MA63 and the IGC Report. The only document that can be amended is the Federal Constitution,” he said when debating the Motion for Amendments to the Federal Constitution in the DUN today.

“The MA63 is the birth certificate of Malaysia. Without it, there would be no Malaysia. It is pertinent that MA63 be given due recognition and included in the Federal Constitution, which is after all the supreme law of Malaysia,” he added.

Henry commended Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) MPs for doing the right thing for Sarawak in abstaining from voting the bill on April 9 because even if Article 1(2) was to be reinstated to its pre-1976 definition, it still fell short of meeting the threshold of equal status envisaged by the spirit of MA63 and the IGC Report that have provisions recognising Sarawak’s equal status.

“To just simply change back to pre-76 words does not guarantee the restoration of Sarawak’s equal status because such change can be manipulated and misinterpreted,” he said.

“The construction of Article 1(2) must be done in good faith, devoid of trickery and free from ambiguities to prevent future misinterpretation and misunderstanding.”

Henry pointed out that MA63 remained unchanged in the original version of Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution.

“The 1976 amendment could have breached the MA63. Therefore, it is the hope of GPS and the aspirations of the people of Sarawak that the amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution should be given a lot of thought and discussed intensively among the three partners — Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak — to ensure the return of Sarawak’s equal status and eroded rights,” he emphasised. – DayakDaily