Jeffrey Kitingan mulls motion on Sabah’s rights

Sabah opposition leader Jeffrey Kitingan. (File pic)

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah opposition leader Jeffrey Kitingan today said he would table a motion to debate the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) if the state government does not do anything about it.

Speaking to reporters at the state legislative assembly, the Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) president said during the debate earlier today, he had asked the state government, which he called a “temporary government”, what it was going to do about MA63.

“In the next sitting, if there is no action, I will table a motion to debate the agreement. I might also do the same in Parliament. But for now, we will just give them a chance to put things right,” he said.

Jeffrey, who is Tambunan assemblyman and MP for Keningau, has constantly called on the state government, including the previous Barisan Nasional-led government, to review the implementation of the agreement.

At the same time, Tanjung Aru assemblyman and State Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Junz Wong had, on two occasions, attempted to table motions on MA63 at the previous assembly. However, both were declined by the then-speaker.

Parti Warisan Sabah made the agreement its main theme in its campaign to win the state government prior to the May 9 general election. It now forms the state government with its Pakatan Harapan partners.

Jeffrey insisted that a review on the agreement was long overdue because of differing opinions on its validity.

“Some people said MA63 has been invalid from the start. There are also those who said it became invalid because of non-compliance by the federal government.

“These questions need to be addressed because otherwise we will still be held back and can’t move forward.”

MA63 was signed by the UK, the Federation of Malaya, North Borneo (Sabah), Sarawak and Singapore in 1963 at the formation of Malaysia. It spells out the rights of each of the partners.