Warisan MP ups Sabah claims in Malaysia deal amid tax row

Darell-Leiking-sabahPETALING JAYA: Penampang MP Darell Leiking says a parliamentary select committee should be set up to discuss matters relating to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) to safeguard the interests of Sabah within the federation of Malaysia.

Citing the erosion and breaches in the MA63 over the years, Leiking said a parliamentary committee will help to effectively implement that agreement in accordance with how the founding forefathers had envisioned it.

“Obviously, this is the way forward for Sabahans and Sarawakians in their effort for full implementation of MA63 and at the same time, to give opportunities to historians, academicians, lawyers, activists and politicians to give their input on the matter without any political restriction.

“I think the issues of Sabah not getting the 40% entitlement (with arrears) and Borneonisation, as well taxations to name but a few, are long overdue and require immediate attention from the parliament,” he said in a statement today.

He said other issues that should be addressed include PAS’ bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355) and the recent tourism tax act, both of which “breached” MA63.

“It is now becoming very apparent that the federal government is forcing its way to squeeze every single sen from Sabah, and this has to stop,” he said.

Leiking was responding to chief justice of Sabah and Sarawak Richard Malanjum, who recently hit out at the authorities for reducing the status of the documents spelling out the rights of Sabah to mere historical papers.

Leiking, who is Parti Warisan Sabah deputy president, said he had proposed the establishment of such a committee before, in his parliamentary debate in 2013. He added that he had attempted to table the motion to discuss “the fundamental breaches of MA63”, but this had been rejected by Parliament.

He called on lawmakers from both Sabah and Sarawak to support another attempt to table the motion.

He said it did not matter who would table it as what mattered was the welfare and interests of Sabahans in Malaysia, now and in future.

“I don’t see any problem for BN MPs from Sabah to submit this motion because even in Sabah, the BN leaders themselves are engaging in MA63 discussion, albeit unofficially,” he said.

“I will discuss the matter with Semporna MP Shafie Apdal and some other MPs on this matter and hopefully, we have better luck this time.”

Leiking: Debate Malaysia Agreement 1963 in Parliament