Putrajaya ‘sitting pretty’ on MA63, Sabah and Sarawak should opt for self-determination – NGOs

The tabled amendment.

KUCHING, April 5: Sabah and Sarawak should cut the Gordian Knot on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and Invoke its Article 8 to embark on the road to self-determination in line with UN Resolution 1541.

Human Rights advocate Daniel John Jambun, Solidariti Anak Sarawak founder Peter John Jaban and Sarawak Association for People’s Aspirations (SAPA) president Dominique Ng highlighted this in a joint statement issued today.

By invoking Article 8, they opined that Sabah and Sarawak could withdraw from all Federal Cabinet posts except defence, internal security, foreign affairs, and the Malaysian Common Market.

Sabah and Sarawak would contribute to the federal government only for the Borneo portion of the four areas.

Accordingly, they said the federal government had to stop collecting revenue in Sabah and Sarawak and return the oil and gas fields to the two territories.

Article 8 of MA63 stated that North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak could take their own measures to enforce and implement MA63, without having to amend the Federal Constitution.

“The Governments of the Federation of Malaya, North Borneo and Sarawak will take such legislative, executive or other action as may be required to implement the assurances, undertakings, recommendations – in so far as they are not implemented by express provision of the Constitution of Malaysia.” the statement read.

The issue, they pointed out, was compliance on MA63 not only by the federal government but also the Sabah and Sarawak governments.

The group felt both sides of the divide in Parliament were still playing politics with MA63.

“The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government has taken upon itself to return Article 1(2) to its pre-July 13, 1976 status, ostensibly to fulfill an election pledge it made in the run-up to GE14 on May 9, 2018.

“The said Article, whether before or after 1976, does not reflect Article 1 in MA63 and no MPs from Sabah and Sarawak has pointed this out.” the statement continued.

Article 1 outlined Sabah and Sarawak being federated with the existing States in Malaya. Hence, Sabah and Sarawak would be Federated States in Malaysia as distinct from the States in Malaya.

In short, as Federated States, Sabah and Sarawak would be Trust Territories of Malaysia in line with Article 8 of MA63 and UN Resolution 1541 on self-determination, the group said.

They pointed out that Malaysia, as per the Council on Malaysia at the UN Secretary General’s office, was supposed to steer Sabah and Sarawak towards self-determination viz autonomy, self-government and independence.

“This calls for invoking Article 8 of MA63. The definition of Federation in Article 160 of the Federal Constitution has not been reconciled with the formation of Malaysia by Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya as equal partners.” — DayakDaily