Parliament: Sabah, Sarawak MPs raise MA63 issue again

Members of Parliament are pictured during the second meeting of the third session of the 14th Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 13, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Members of Parliament are pictured during the second meeting of the third session of the 14th Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 13, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, July 21 — Issues relating to the rights of Sabah and Sarawak under the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63) were raised once again by Members of Parliament from the two states at the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.

It involved several matters including the amendment to Article 1 (2) of the Federal Constitution which aims to restore the status of the two states in East Malaysia as associate members with Peninsular Malaysia, in line with MA63.

Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis (Warisan-Kota Belud) said if the amendment could be re-tabled in Parliament by the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government soon, it would bring joy to the people in Sabah and Sarawak

She said this was because the failure to amend Article 1 (2) of the Federal Constitution in April last year had disappointed the people in both states.

“We hope that the prime minister will expedite this so that the work done by the special Cabinet committee to review the implementation of the MA63 would not be in vain,” she said.

The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government had previously tried to amend Article 1 (2) of the Federal Constitution on April 9 last year, but failed to get the required two-thirds majority for the purpose.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was previously reported to be calling a meeting soon to discuss the MA63 and amendment to the Federal Constitution with Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

Ahmad Johnie Zawawi (GPS-Igan) said he hoped that the issue over the amendment was not further delayed.

“Similarly, all matters related to the rights and demands of Sarawak involving MA63, they must be expedited so that the people of Sarawak can regain their rights that have long been eroded, either intentionally or unintentionally,” he said.

Datuk Mohamad Alamin (BN-Kimanis) suggested for the federal government to introduce a “legal commitment” with the Sabah and Sarawak state governments to ensure that each demand under MA63 is implemented with honesty and sincerity.

Mohamad said the legal commitment should clearly state the details and timeframe for the implementations to take place.

“We welcome the federal government to continue exploring the wealth of Sabah, you may use whatever you need from the resources we have, but restore our rights and follow the agreement as enshrined in MA63 and the Federal Constitution,” he said.

The Parliament sitting resumes tomorrow. — Bernama

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