Historic Push For MA63 As Sabah Assembly Unanimous In Support of Bill

Screen grab of the Sabah Chief Minister at the Sabah Assembly last week.

KOTA KINABALU: April 18, 2019 (Thursday) was an unprecedented occasion where the Sabah Legislative Assembly led by Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd Shafie Apdal made a historic decision to unanimously agree to support a decision to get the RUU2019 tabled in Parliament once again.

The RUU2019 (Rang Undang Undang or Bill) would use the original wordings in the Annex A Part II Section 4(2) of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 excluding Singapore.

Datuk Shafie in winding up the debate to the emergency motion moved earlier by the YB from Karanaan (Datuk Masidi Manjun), emphasized that this amendment to the Federal Constitution is the ‘mother of all changes’ as far as Sabah is concerned.

Sabah must first legitimize itself and be excluded from the Wilayah Persekutuan Tanah Melayu.


With the exclusion Sabah and Sarawak is a Wilayah will be stood on its own and having a territorial water that it can claim. Otherwise, it is difficult to claim its own territorial water while continuing to exist as part of Wilayah Persekutuan Tanah Melayu.

Datuk Shafie explained that not only the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) is valid, it is also an International treaty, but he says not many people may know that the MA63 is an Inter-State Agreement, it is not a Head of State Agreement. This implied it is a Government-to-Government agreement and that all those who signed the agreement are of equal standing; meaning this is where the equal partnership comes from.

Datuk Shafie reminded members of the august house that Sabah and Sarawak were included in the Wilayah Persekutuan Tanah Melayu in the 1976 amendment to Article 1(2).


Datuk Masidi tabled the emergency motion to the Sabah Legislative Assembly to support the re-tabling of RUU2019 amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution. In his motion, Masidi called upon all members of the august house to set aside political differences and be united with one voice to support this emergency motion.

Speaking to reporters after the passing of the emergency motion, Zainnal Ajamain the Adviser to the Sabah Government on MA63 said that this emergency motion did not put any conditions in support of re-tabling the RUU2019 amendments to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution.

“Putting up conditions such as amending Article 160(2) should not be added as a condition,” he said.

“This is because Article 160(2) was never a part of Annex A of the MA63. Article 160(2) therefore, should be treated as new item for re-negotiation not simply pushed to amend the constitution.”

As explained by the Prime Minister in the second reading (in Parliament recently), amending Article 160(2) will have far reaching consequences to the Wilayah Persekutuan Tanah Melayu. It could have implications to other treaties made before the Federation of Malaya exist and subsequently entrusted to it. This should be done without jeopardizing the position of Wilayah Persekutuan Tanah Melayu in relation to other states in the Persekutuan Tanah Melayu.

Any other addition to the amendment may also be considered as an additional item for re-negotiation. Words such as “in pursuant to the Malaysia Agreement 1963” is firstly a new item to be re-negotiated and secondly, it is redundant and frivolous, Zainnal pointed out.

He added: “It is redundant and frivolous because the original wordings of Article 1(2) came from Annex A Part II Section 4(2) of the Malaysia Agreement 1963. Therefore, there is no need to add the words “in pursuant to Malaysia Agreement 1963”.”