Move motions in state assembly to reclaim rights, Jeffrey tells Sabah govt

Jeffrey Kitingan.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah opposition leader Jeffrey Kitingan has challenged the Sabah government to move a series of motions in the State Legislative Assembly to reclaim Sabah’s rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

Debating in the Sabah Legislative Assembly today, Kitingan said these motions should include motions to recover oil and gas royalty and demand that Pakatan Harapan keep its promise to give 20% royalty, the return of 40% of net revenue collected by the federal government in Sabah and equal status between Sabah, Sarawak and the Federation of Malaya.

“Article 8 of the MA63 provides that the Sabah government has the right to implement the assurances and recommendations of Annexes A and B and the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report if they are not implemented by the express provisions of the constitution.

“That means we still have hope. We must be bold and courageous in reclaiming our rights. We have been ignored for the past 56 years. Enough is enough,” he said.

The Tambunan assemblyman claimed that due to the colonialism of Kuala Lumpur, Sabah had not been able to claim the 40% of net revenue derived by the federal government which he estimated to be around RM20 billion a year.

The signing of the Petroleum Agreement 1976, he said, had also cost Sabah between RM25 billion and RM30 billion a year.

In terms of politics, he said Sabah had lost its grip on power because of imported political parties that in the end had taken over parliamentary and state seats which rightly belonged to Sabah.

“This means, we are being subjected to Malaya. We are facing a dark future indeed,” he said.

He believes the proposed Federal Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 which was defeated at the Dewan Rakyat last week would not have made Sabah and Sarawak equal partners with the Federation of Malaya.

“Whether the bill succeeded or not, it wouldn’t change anything because there is no such thing in the Federal Constitution.

“However, it would differentiate Sabah and Sarawak from the other states and will put us on a different level and that is why we have supported it,” he said.