KOTA KINABALU, Dec 8 — There is no need for a special Sabah State Assembly session to discuss the state rights issue under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.
Replying to calls from the Opposition for the state to discuss the matter in the House, Hajiji said that state rights were being discussed at the MA63 special council committee with the prime minister and the chief ministers of Sabah and Sarawak.
“Even without a special sitting, nothing stops us from debating the issues here in the state assembly. It’s not that we don’t want a special sitting, but even before this, we have discussed this openly here. To me, it is enough to be done here. It has been going on all this while,” said Hajiji.
Earlier, Deputy Speaker Datuk Ahmad Abdul Rahman ruled that the Opposition’s special motion for MA63 issues to be discussed in the state assembly could not be brought up during the winding-up of Sabah Budget 2022.
Hajiji explained that a proposed amendment Bill tabled in Parliament will reinstate the position of Sabah and Sarawak to one of four parties in the formation of Malaysia, until the secession of Singapore, and an amendment in 1976 that relegated the two Borneo states to one of the 13 states.
“The committee has agreed on the constitutional amendment. Other claims that are not in the Constitution, these can be discussed at an administrative level like the continental shelf,” he said.
Hajiji said that about 17 issues raised by Sabah were already resolved through the MA63 special committee.
State Opposition leader Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal was asking about further discussions in terms of Sabah’s rights within the federation in the sitting, outlining the importance of safeguarding the state’s resources.
Shafie was pushing for the special motion to discuss state rights issues under MA63, saying that it was important for the Sabah assembly to have a united stand to get back its lost or eroded rights.