Define Malaysia as federation of three regions, says Sabah deputy CM

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan said that the first paragraph of Article 1(2) of the Constitution should only mention Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak. — Borneo Post Online pic
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan said that the first paragraph of Article 1(2) of the Constitution should only mention Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak. — Borneo Post Online pic

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KOTA KINABALU, Oct 12 — The Federal Constitution should be amended by clearly identifying the three remaining partners in the federation to reflect the true spirit of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) as stated in the proclamation of Malaysia on September 16, 1963.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan said this means that the first paragraph of Article 1(2) of the Constitution should only mention Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak.

“Following that, it can list the states of Malaya, the five residencies of Sabah and the six divisions of Sarawak,” he said in a statement after attending the second MA63 working committee online meeting yesterday.

Kitingan explained that properly dividing Sabah and Sarawak would result in better economic growth and more equitable distribution of development funds.

The residency/division system was practised during the colonial time when Sabah, then North Borneo, was divided into five residencies: Tawau (also known as East Coast Residency), Sandakan, West Coast, Kudat and Interior.

Each residency is then subdivided into smaller administrative units which includes districts and villages.

Besides administrative issues, Kitingan also wanted a fairer representation of Sabah and Sarawak in the parliament even though the issue is not explicitly stated in the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report.

The Keningau MP pointed out that in the beginning, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore accounted for approximately 35 per cent of the number of MPs in the parliament.

“Following Singapore’s secession in 1965 and subsequent political manoeuvring in the 1970s and 1980s, Malaya’s parliamentary seats increased further.

“In the meantime, the number of parliamentary seats in Sabah and Sarawak has barely increased to the point where the previously 65:35 ratio has now become 75:25.

“With such a paltry number, Malaya could easily pass any law they want with a two-thirds majority, even if all Sabah and Sarawak MPs are opposed,” he said.

Kitigan stated that several other issues concerning the MA63 should be deliberated further, but he is hopeful that these two major issues will be addressed as soon as possible. — Borneo Post Online

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