MA63 Best Debated In Parliament, Not Elsewhere – Pandikar Amin Chastened

Junz Wong and Christina Liew together with Jaujan Sambakong and Terrence Siambun at Tuesday’s Press conference called to admonish Pandikar Amin’s impartiality as Dewan Rakyat Speaker.

By BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
KOTA KINABALU: Why have a private tussle on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) when Parliament is the proper place to have debate the contentious issue, Pandikar Amin Mulia was told off Tuesday.

As the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, Pandikar has all the power in his hands to allow the debate, and Parliament is the rightful place for such an important issue to be discussed, a Sabah-based political analyst said.

“The MA63 is not a popularity contest to see who is stronger, or to use Pandikar’s own words – who is stupid. If Pandikar is serious about the issue and is impartial, then the debate must be held in Parliament, and nowhere else,” the analyst told BorneoToday.

Requesting anonymity, he said it would seem that Pandikar is not doing his job but at the same time seeking ‘a moment of fame and glory, if any’ by having a debate outside Parliament, when he is the very person who has all the power to decide such a debate in the august House.

“Debate MA63 in Parliament as it is of great importance to the people,” he added, saying the issue must not be swept under the carpet.

PANDIKAR AMIN

On Monday, Pandikar challenged Shafie Apdal, to an open debate on Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the formation of Malaysia, after receiving a little “history lesson” from the Parti Warisan Sabah leader over the weekend.

The Dewan Rakyat Speaker had said on the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club portal that he wished to debate Shafie so that Sabahans would be able to see who was altering historical facts and stirring up hate for the ruling government, and that he wants to “prove who is really stupid”.

Shafie, who is also the Semporna Member of Parliament had said in Keningau on Sunday that those who thought Sabah and Sarawak were of equal status with the states in the peninsula were “stupid.”

SHAFIE APDAL

Shafie had called the statement stupid, saying Sabah should not be compared with states like Perlis as the Sabah, along with Sarawak, was signatory to the MA63 and was therefore an equal partners in the federation.

While the MA63 issue is hotly “discussed” among Sabah politicians, especially those in the opposition, Pandikar, at a MA63 forum on November 12, 2017, said Sabah shared equal status with the states of Malaya.

The Speaker, who is from Kota Belud, cited Chapter 2, Clause 10 of the Inter-governmental report filed under Article 8 of the Malaysia Agreement 1963, which states that the “Former colonies of North Borneo, Sarawak shall be federated with the federated States of Malaya.”

In response, Shafie had called the statement stupid, saying Sabah should not be compared with states like Perlis as Sabah, along with Sarawak, was signatory to the MA63 and therefore an equal partner in the federation.

At a Press conference at the Sabah State Assembly building on Tuesday, Junz Wong the Likas Assemblyman and Christina Liew, the PKR Assembly woman for Api Api criticised Pandikar for not being apolitical.

Junz, who is also Parti Warisan vice president called on Pandikar to resign first if he wanted to debate Sabah’s rights under MA63 with Shafie.

CHRISTINA LIEW

“We are quite surprised as to why Pandikar would lower himself to become political. As the Dewan Rakyat Speaker, he is supposed to be impartial, Junz was reported as saying.

“He must first pass a motion to talk about MA63 in Parliament and step down if he truly wants to debate the subject with Shafie,” Wong said.

Liew, who is also Sabah Pakatan Harapan chairman who was present, said the opposition would not fall into Pandikar’s “trap” to debate abolishing Islam as the state’s official religion as that would divide the people of Sabah.

She said most Sabahans were more troubled by bread-and-butter issues, like the rising cost of living as well as ballooning oil prices despite the State contributing a good amount of fuel to the federal coffers.

Liew was quoted saying that economic issues were why Sabahans were looking at the MA63 and calling for the federal government to honour its provisions for the return of revenue derived from Sabah’s resources.

“Sabah PH is not talking about race and religion. We are talking about the economic aspects, we are not falling into (Pandikar’s trap). What is important is meeting the special rights of the state,” she said.

Jaujan Sambokong, who is Sulabyan Assemblyman and Warisan vice-president, Terrence Siambun, the Moyog Assemblyman and Warisan treasurer as well as Nicholas Chak, the party’s deputy youth chief were present at the press conference.

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