MA63, It Was Shafie Apdal Who Achieved Breakthrough

KIMANIS: Parti Warisan Sabah reminds that its president, Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd Shafie bin Haji Apdal had consistently fought for Sabah rights under the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 (MA63) until he achieved a breakthrough.

Warisan’s Treasurer-General, Terrence Siambun said it was through the sheer hardwork of Warisan, its PH Sabah partners and activists that convinced the previous federal government to finally view MA63 seriously.

“The hard work of Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and Datuk Darell Leiking forged understanding and cooperation on MA63. They rallied Warisan, Sabah PH leaders and activists such as Zainnal Ajaiman, Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, Michael Peter Govind and many other grassroot leaders to make MA63 as Sabah’s main agenda. This is something that Datuk Zahid Hamidi and Tan Sri Musa Aman failed to make any serious effort during their time as Deputy Prime Minister and Chief Minister respectively.

“From 2009 to 2013, various parties, organisations and individuals spoke on MA63 but the leading authorities on the subject at that time were Zainnal Ajaiman and Tan Sri Simon Sipaun. The issue caught greater national attention when the former Sarawak Chief Minister, the late Tan Sri Adenan Satem made it the State’s main agenda,” he said in a statement issued here today.

He refuted claims that Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and Datuk Jeffrey Kitingan were the ones who raised MA63 into national limelight because Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd Shafie had consistently fought for Sabah rights enshrined in the agreement and made breakthroughs under the Warisan-led government.

To date, a total 17 out of 21 matters tabled at the Cabinet Special Committee Meeting to review the implementation of the Malaysia Agreement have been approved.

“Anyone can issue statements, organize forums or even talk in the Dewan Rakyat about MA63 but at the end of the day, it is all about delivery,” said Siambun.

He noted that Jeffrey Kitingan and his friends in PBS have been talking about Sabah’s rights and the 20 Points for quite some time but interestingly the previous federal government never bothered to take them seriously.

“Why? Because while Jeffrey undoubtedly has pockets of followers in the Interior, he cannot rally the whole of Sabah to support his cause. This is due to his own doing because throughout his political career, he never made any serious attempt to travel and educate Sabahans on the East Coast about MA63.

“So, would the previous federal government have been that foolish to accede to whatever Kitingan was demanding on MA63 if he is supported by only a handful of supporters? I reckon the government back then may have viewed him as just another Ibrahim Ali – controversial but not dangerous enough to destabilise BN,” he said.

Siambun said if there were anyone who should be credited for advocating MA63, it should have been Zainnal Ajaiman who wrote two books, organised countless forums and travelled all over Sabah using his own funds just to educate Sabahans on the importance of MA63 and not Anifah or Jeffrey.

“In fact, Zainnal was invited by the Sarawak State Government on matters related to MA63 but what about Jeffrey? If he truly had been a fighter for MA63, then surely he would have been given a hero’s reception at the Sarawak Chief Minister’s office but instead he was barred from entering the State!

“As for Anifah, he never made any impact on MA63 and even the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Tan Sri Abang Johari Haji Openg has said that his Anifah’s “Technical Committee on the Devolution of Authority” which he co-chaired with Nancy Shukri is powerless and that both Anifah and Nancy were not in the position to discuss Sarawak’s grievances with the federal government,” he said.