MA63 debate: Pandikar tells critics to name place, time


KUALA LUMPUR: Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia says he will gladly debate the issue of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) outside of Parliament.

He said he was unable to agree to debate the matter in the Dewan Rakyat as he was presiding over the house.

“Many people have asked for the matter to be debated in Parliament and even if Standing Order 15 was ignored, I would not be able to as I am the one presiding over the house.

“This is why I am calling for an open debate. I am willing to answer you outside of Parliament. Just name your place and name your time and Pandikar Amin will be there,” he said during the launch of his new book entitled “Berpisah Tiada” that dwells on the laws of Sabah and its place within Malaysia.

Standing Order 15 states that on every sitting day, government business shall have precedence over private members’ business.

He said there was no case to say that Sabah and Sarawak had equal status to Malaya when all states were equal in Malaysia.

“There is no such thing if you understand the concept of federalism.

“Federalism means all states must be on equal status, so how can you say that Sabah and Sarawak have equivalent status to Malaya when in fact after Malaysia was created in 1963, Malaya ceased to exist.”

He blamed “irresponsible voices out there” for saying that the rights of Sabahans and Sarawakians had been taken away.

“This is empty political rhetoric by some quarters because they don’t fully understand the agreement.

“There are some people with doctorates who still don’t understand the agreement, what more young people, especially when the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) and the Cobbold Commission Report are all in English.

“Do they understand? After studying many relevant documents, I feel it is my responsibility to explain to this generation the real story and give them an alternative idea on how to look at the matter.”

When asked if he was releasing the book to signal his return to Sabah politics, Pandikar said: “No, no, it is not. This is one more reason why I had to slog to finish this book, to explain why I disagreed with people who say the rights of Sabahans and Sarawakians have been violated.

“To me, we cannot spin facts that we don’t understand. I have been lambasted by Sabahans and Sarawakians for my stand and that I have political ambitions. But this is not true.

“In fact I was brave enough to stand by myself when they called me a traitor for defending the decision of the two states to join Malaysia because if they hadn’t, where would they be now? We could be one of the territories under the Philippines or Indonesia.”