KOTA KINABALU, Dec 10 — Former Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia opines that the federal leaders’ lack of understanding about the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) is one of the contributing factors to the delay in fulfilling Sabah’s requests.
To this end, federal leaders especially those in seats of authority must understand and read up about the MA63, the ICG Report, Cobbold Commission and 20 Points, said the Usno president.
Speaking to reporters after the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) Zone 2 Women movement’s roadshow here on Sunday, Pandikar urged federal leaders especially those in authority, to read and appreciate the process of Sabah’s independence through the formation of Malaysia.
They should also read, understand and appreciate the ICG report, the Cobbold Commission as well as all the processes pertaining to the formation of Malaysia, he said.
“In my opinion Malaysia was formed through the agreement of past leaders. In Malaya it was led by Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Razak while in Sabah, it was led by Tun Mustapha and Tun Fuad Stephens.
“They are now deceased and what is left are the documents which we refer to to find out what are the actual contents of MA63. So if only Sabahans are aware of the state’s rights enshrined in MA63 and the spirit of the formation of Malaysia, it will be difficult to make our demands,” he said.
Pandikar said leaders in Peninsular Malaysia have the responsibility to understand what the commitments of past Malaya leaders were and why Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore joined the formation of Malaysia.
When asked for his opinion on the level of awareness among leaders in Peninsular Malaysia on the issue, Pandikar replied, “with due respect to some of them, they don’t even know about ... don’t even understand what the IGC is, the Cobbold Commission.
“They don’t know what the process of formation of Malaysia is. That is the reason why they are slow in understanding what our requests are. As a matter of fact, when we bring up the matter of Sabah’s requests, some of them are looking at us with amazement, as if ‘what is this? We don’t even understand’,” Pandikar pointed out.
“So they must understand and if they do, they will respect our opinion, our requests. This is like a court case, the judges must know the law although it is the lawyers’ responsibility to explain during the court case. But if the judges sitting there do not know anything, how can they decide?” he stressed.
Pandikar disclosed that during his 10-year tenure as Dewan Rakyat Speaker, MPs from Sabah and Sarawak always raised this issue during the parliament sitting.
“The problem is, leaders in Peninsular Malaysia have a problem understanding an issue that is so important for Sabah and Sarawak. This is why I urge leaders in Peninsular Malaysia, those who are responsible for Sabah and Sarawak requests enshrined in MA63 as well as those in the Attorney General’s office to have an in-depth understanding about the matter.
“What is so difficult in interpreting Article 112D, to understand Schedule 10, to understand the 20 Points? During our fact-finding trip on MA63 to London, I came across a file that stated at that time, Sabah was adamant about not compromising on the issue of taxes and stressed that the right belongs to the state,” he disclosed.
On another note, Pandikar also supports the call by GRS deputy chairman Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Jeffrey Kitingan who when officiating the roadshow, said that GRS will contest in all 73 state constituencies in the coming state election.
This, he said, is in line with GRS’ tagline ‘Rumah Kita, Kita Jaga’ adding, “Sabah is our state, we need to look after it and we need to be in power in Sabah.
“To achieve that, GRS, a local party, must contest in all 73 state seats. If past leaders in Malaya and Sabah can work together to form a country, why can’t current leaders who are intellectual, educated and have sophisticated thinking work together?” he said. — Borneo Post