Sabah CM says would table urgent motion on MA63

Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal speaks to the press at Parliament on March 22, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana
Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal speaks to the press at Parliament on March 22, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

KOTA KINABALU, April 15 — Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal said he has no issue with tabling an emergency motion to discuss the 1963 Malaysia Agreement in the Sabah assembly.

Shafie said that such a motion would be beneficial to bipartisanship in the House if state lawmakers could set aside their personal politics and rally behind it.

“I don’t have an issue with this; if we file a motion within the next three days, I hope we can all support it,” he said during the question and answer session in the assembly sitting.

“The motion would go a long way in raising spirits to fulfil the agenda together, and I believe we can do it. This will not only legitimise it but more importantly, the content will bring forth our struggles to ensure the rights are realised.”

Earlier, Karanaan assemblyman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun suggested that an emergency motion be tabled on Sabah’s intentions to reclaim its rights from the federal government after the failed amendment to the Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution last week.

The amendment was to restore Sabah and Sarawak as equals to the entire peninsula.

Masidi said that the matter had been mired in semantics and touted an emergency motion as an opportunity to forge ahead and let all state assemblymen provide their input.

Shafie said such a motion would be timely as the state could then record all its intentions including the 40 per cent return of revenue owed to the state, oil royalty, stamp duties and others listed in its mandate from the MA63.

“I don’t want progress to be stunted just because of semantics. It should not be politicised,” Shafie said.

“This is much better than starting a referendum which will take more time as we have to gather the views of all levels of society like village chiefs and the public,” he added. 

Earlier, Shafie said calls to amend other sections of the Federal Constitution were unnecessary as there were already concessions to Sabah enshrined in the document.

“There is just the need to implement what has been demanded by the states — I know there are other amendments asked for like Article 160 but this was the mother of all amendments. This is the most important thing,” he said.