By TEO CHEE KANG
COMMENT: Darell Leiking’s averment that Sabah rights under MA63 can be implemented through the State Legislative Assembly shows his obvious lack of understanding as to how a federation works.
2. He also misconstrued Article 8 of the Malaysia Agreement by saying that when rights under the agreement are not implemented, they can be implemented through the State Assembly.
3. The gist of Article 8 is that if there is any recommendation in the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report that is not expressly incorporated into the Federal Constitution, all parties to the agreement are to make laws or take administrative or other actions to give effect to the same. It certainly does not mean that the State Assembly can unilaterally pass a law to give effect to something that requires two hands to clap.
4. For example, as provided by Article 112D of the Federal Constitution, the special grant “shall… be reviewed by the Governments of the Federation and the States or State concerned”. Review can only be done through bilateral meetings taking into account the financial position of the Federal Government as well as the needs of the State.
5. Is he saying that our State Assembly can just pass an enactment to impose on the Federal Government an obligation to pay us special grant of say RM2 billion per year? It is okay if you alone are confused, but please don’t confuse the people.
6. On the issue of the restoration of State rights, I am confident that the State’s consultative approach will bear fruits. While we will be guided by the IGC report, MA63, Federal Constitution and related legal instruments, the opposition will continue to talk like opposition.
• Teo Chee Kang is Special Tasks Minister, and president of Liberal Democratic Party