Peninsula parties entering Sabah may be against MA63, says activist

Activist Zainnal Ajamain says the people of Sabah should determine the state’s direction, not Putrajaya. (Bernama pic)

KOTA KINABALU: A political activist in Sabah has warned that peninsula-based parties setting up shop in the state may be in breach of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), following talk that PPBM may be seeking to establish itself there.

Zainnal Ajamain said although there was no direct provision that prohibited peninsula-based political parties from spreading their wings in Sabah, it could be seen as an indirect move to shift power from the state to the hands of the federal government.

Zainnal Ajamain.

“In the Cobbold Commission report, Lord Cobbold noted that Malaysia would not succeed if the Federation of Malaya tried to take over the Borneo territories and wipe out the individualities of Sabah and Sarawak.

“This may not sound as if the political parties from Malaya are not welcome in Sabah, but the whole point of a political party spreading its wings in the state is for political conquest.

“This means that Putrajaya is determining the destiny of Sabah when that responsibility should rest with the people of Sabah,” he said.

Zainnal added that the political parties from the peninsula which already had a presence in the state, as well as those trying to establish themselves there, were indirectly mocking the rights of Sabah under MA63.

Ironically, he said, these parties promised they would return Sabah’s rights in accordance with MA63, with some parties even promising beyond the rights given in the agreement.

“A very good example of this is the promise to return 50% of all federal revenue collected from Sabah, when MA63 only mentioned 40%.

“And even though that provision is incorporated into the Federal Constitution, it has not been honoured or even acknowledged by the central government since 1964,” he said.

He questioned the purpose of peninsula-based parties entering Sabah, asking if this was to gain administrative control and political dominance over the state.

He added that there were many “ignorant” people in Sabah who were more than happy to accept such parties with open arms.

However, he warned that the consequences would be “manifold”, including the loss of rights provided for in MA63.

“They would then have to accept the directions given by the leaders and the elite in their political parties.”

PPBM was recently rumoured to be ready to spread its wings to Sabah, although the party’s leadership, including Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, poured cold water on such talk.

They said they intended to honour their promise to Warisan not to come to Sabah.

The state hosts several peninsula-based parties including Umno, PKR, DAP, MCA and MIC.