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Sabah should do likewise: MCA
Published on: Saturday, November 11, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: The passing of the motion on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and matters related to it by the Sarawak Government showed it is high time for Sabah to do the same.

Sabah MCA Deputy Chief Datuk Francis Goh said the Sabah Government should emulate the neighbouring State's move to form a special task force to negotiate with Putrajaya to resolve outstanding issues related to the MA63.

"It is known that the Sabah Government has also formed a special committee to look into the State's special rights.

"This committee is chaired by Special Tasks Minister Datuk Teo Chee Kang and the last known effort is a report has been submitted to the State Cabinet on their study on the MA63," he said.

He said the Prime Minister, in his speech during the last Merdeka Day celebration, had openly said that the Federal Government shall discuss the matter in a "family" manner so as to resolve some of the plaguing issues related to the MA63 with the Sabah and Sarawak governments before the coming general election.

"It is therefore high time for the Sabah Government to show its sincerity in re-claiming the special rights of the State and not allow the opposition to manipulate the issue for votes in the coming election," he said in a statement, Friday.

On Thursday, the Sarawak Government passed a motion to resolve all outstanding issues on the MA63 and a mandate was given to form a high-level special task force to negotiate with Putrajaya to resolve the issues.

The mandate also includes compelling the Federal Government to comply, uphold the constitutional safeguards and special rights accorded to Sarawak, in accordance to the terms, intent and spirit of the MA63.

The motion was tabled by Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Douglas Uggah Embas who also sought the mandate to take all necessary measures under Article VIII of the agreement to ensure complete implementation of the Inter-Governmental Report as intended to safeguard the special interests of Sarawak.

Article VIII of the MA63 provides that implementation is to be through executive, legislative and other actions by the federal and state governments of Sabah and Sarawak.

There had been various calls in the Sabah Legislative Assembly to review the MA63 but these were often shot down by the Government.

According to Goh, the State Government should show its sincerity to put the interests of the people among all.

The Sarawak move to table the motion has reignited the same sentiment among Sabah political observers and earlier this week Parti Warisan Sabah Vice President cum Likas Assemblyman Junz Wong filed the motion to the State Assembly.

Goh said the report must be tabled so a motion can be mooted by Sabah Barisan National and to be passed in the next State Assembly sitting in order for Sabah to form its own team to negotiate the State rights with Putrajaya.

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