State rights – ‘Just implement’, says Jeffrey

 

By MICHAEL TEH

KOTA KINABALU: The Federal government under Pakatan Harapan (PH) should immediately implement Sabah/Sarawak rights provided for in the Federal Constitution, instead of establishing another committee to review the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

Tambunan State Assemblyman Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said the provisions are there to be implemented and any need for a new committee can be dealt with when the need arises.

“Is this a new committee? What happened to the old committee? Isn’t it true that before the last election, Parti Warisan Sabah had urged the previous government not to be bothered with setting up committees on Sabah rights but go straight into implementing them?

“Now, I am reminding Warisan to walk the talk. You are the government now, so just implement it,” he said.

Jeffrey, who is also the President of the Parti Solidarity Tanah Airku (STAR), was responding to the recent statement by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong, that the government has formed a committee to identify the best method to ensure Sabah and Sarawak’s rights under MA63 can continue to be pursued.

Liew also said he will lead the committee in line with the government’s commitment to reevaluate the agreement to ensure that Sabah and Sarawak’s claims are realised.

Liew, who is in charge of the law portfolio, said they will also look into current existing laws especially in Sabah to see if they are still relevant in the current setting.

Meanwhile, Dr Jeffrey who is also the MP for Keningau suggested that Liew should go straight into Article 8 of MA63, the Inter-governmental Committee (IGC) report, and the Federal Constitution.

He stressed that if the government wants to establish a committee to review the MA63, it should ensure the following:

a) Terms of Reference is made public; b) All stakeholders are included, including signatories to MA63 and representatives from the opposition; c) There should be a time frame for the review; and d) The review should include assessing the validity of MA63. “While we question Liew for establishing another committee, any move towards realising Sabah’s rights and resolving outstanding issues related to Sabah’s aspirations is most welcomed,” he added.

 
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New Sabah Times