KOTA KINABALU: An NGO has welcomed the federal government’s efforts to make the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) part of the reconciliation agenda between Sabah and Putrajaya but warns that any discussions on the matter should involve “true experts”, not politicians.
Perpaduan Anak Negeri Sabah (PAN)–Native Solidarity of Sabah, which promotes MA63 among natives in the state, said the efforts by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Liew Vui Keong would only be good for the relationship between Sabah and Sarawak and the federal government.
Its chairman Esther Golingi said however that they were concerned about another committee being set up, as the previous government had also established various committees to study MA63.
“We did not see any fruitful outcome from the committees set up by the previous government. It was all political talk.
“So for this new committee, the composition of members would be very important. Sabahans want true experts to be on the committee – those that have done real research on the subject.
“For our government to fully implement MA63, they must be advised properly on the subject,” she said.
She added that the people wanted individuals who would not compromise the rights of Sabahans, and those who believed Sabah could run as a nation.
“Former Singapore prime minister, the late Lee Kuan Yew, understood this. While Singapore was still in the Federation of Malaysia, he was referred to as the prime minister of Singapore and the late Tunku Abdul Rahman was the prime minister of Malaya.
“This fact indicates the structural problems of our nation today. The MA63 is a live document. Current laws and policies in contravention with the spirit of MA63 can be undone.
“Our new government has indicated its political will to do it. Our nation’s structure and present laws must be reconciled with the spirit of MA63.”
Golingi also urged Liew and his committee to be transparent and communicate their findings to the public.
On Friday, Liew said the special committee to look into MA63 would be as inclusive as possible, and that he was in the process of identifying suitable people to sit in the committee.
He is expected to submit the list of names to the Cabinet for approval this week.