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Rights given away, not taken away
Published on: Sunday, October 01, 2017

By Awang Jambul
IT came as a surprise to read the statement by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Raymond Tan Shu Kiah on the issue of the Malaysia Agreement and Sabah Rights taken away by Tun Dr Mahathir.

It appears Tan is either ignorant of facts in history or simply just out to mislead Sabahans.

Tan should be well aware that there is no provision in the Constitution or Federal laws to say that matters affecting Sabah must be referred to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

Tan also talked about Sabah Rights taken away by the Federal Government, especially by Tun Dr Mahathir.

This is far from the truth.

For his information, Education and Health were handed over to the Federal Government by the Usno Government in 1965, for lack of funds and expertise.

Even though under the Constitution it was provided that these two subjects remain under the State Government for 10 years.

The late Tun Mustapha handed them over early, also because he wanted them streamlined with the Federation of Malaysia.

Similarly, the Berjaya Government handed over Sabah Electricity Board because it cost a lot of funds to improve electricity for the whole of Sabah.

If Tan is a leader he should list one by one those Sabah Rights supposedly taken away by the Federal Government up to 2017. Actually Sabahans’ rights under the Federal and State Constitution were given away slowly by Sabah leaders and not taken away by the Federal Government.

Lastly, the opposition can promise that if it is in power, it will create Sabah as a country with two systems of Government just like Hong Kong and China.

Tan is fully aware that MA63 is legally not binding on the day-to-day administration of Malaysia, or for that matter Sabah.

He must also be reminded that Malaysia was formed by Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak, Lee Kuan Yew and Tun Muhammad Ghazali Shafie.

These eminent leaders were honest and truthful. Therefore, what was agreed during the formation of Malaysia was the best at that time. Of course present leaders, including Tan, can ask for a Referendum for Sabah either to remain in Malaysia or Independence. Tan should champion referendum. Awang Jambul

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