On Malaysia Day eve, STAR chief calls for new agreement to replace MA63

STAR president Jeffrey Kitingan.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is now capable of undertaking full responsibility 55 years after the formation of Malaysia, claims Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) president Jeffrey Kitingan.

“After being with Malaya and Sarawak in the Federation of Malaysia for 55 years as a junior partner and neo-colony, the time has come for Sabah and Sarawak to be restored as ‘equal partners’ with Malaya in all aspects,” he said in a statement in conjunction with Malaysia Day here today.

Kitingan also said it was high time to create a new Federal Constitution to reflect the equal partnership and grant full autonomy to Sabah and Sarawak in a new structure.

He said Sabah, Sarawak and the federal government should sign a new agreement, in place of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), which he described as out of sync with the times as it was signed during British colonial times.

“Sabah and Sarawak are no longer British colonies and are able to negotiate in their own capacity to determine their own future and destiny, based on the concept of ‘self-determination’.”

In order to do this, Kitingan proposed that all original founding members of Malaysia, namely the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak, “recreate” a new Malaysia based on new terms and conditions, in accordance with the current circumstances and taking into consideration the aspirations of the people of the four territories.

Otherwise, he said the alternative should be the granting of full independence to all the territories and the creation of a “Malaysian Union” with a new Malaysian Union Agreement (MUA2020) replacing MA63.

“This MUA2020 may be the best way forward for the New Malaysia under Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s second coming as the prime minister.

“Unless the MA63 is replaced with a new and realistic agreement, the Federation of Malaysia created by MA63 will fail at a very heavy cost, politically, economically and socio-economically,” he said.