Sabah Speaker Fears To Discuss MA63; Could It Be Opening A Can Of Worms?

Zainnal Ajamain holds up a copy of the Queen’s Obligation which he authored, as well as a copy of the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

KOTA KINABALU: The Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Sabah Legislative Assembly rejected three applications by the Opposition to discuss the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) because of fear that the State Government does not have any knowledge of the Agreement.

Zainnal Ajamain, a passionate activist for Sabah rights in the MA63 and the author of the ‘Grand Design’ and the ‘Queen’s Obligation’ asked what is the State Legislative Assembly for, if not to discuss important issues such as the currently much-debated agreement.

“The Speaker appeared to understand what Article 112C and 112D is all about,” he wrote to BorneoToday. “According to the Speaker steps are being taken to align provisions under Article 112C and 112D with the Federal Constitution.

Zainnal, whose books focus on issues during the formation of Malaysia said obviously Syed Abas Syed Ali, the Speaker, did not read the Federal constitution, because if he did then he would have known that Article 112C and 112D were provisions in the Federal Constitution – he is trying to align them to what?

Syes Abad Syed Ali, the Sabah Speaker, left, with another Assembly member. He turned down three motions by Opposition members to debate the MA63.

“Syed Abas acknowledges issues about Sabah rights, especially pertaining to Article 112C and 112D that is a top priority for the State Government and yet says the Legislative Assembly which is the law-making body in Sabah and the body that represents the people is not the best place to discuss these issues,” said Zainnal.

“Where then should MA63 be discussed? He is not implying that any discussion of the MA63 should be done in the confines of the Chief Minister’s Office?”

Both the Speaker and his deputy emphasized on issues of Article 112C and 112D in the Federal constitution.

Both these Articles outline the procedure on how the 40% provisions in Schedule 10 Part IV Item 2 should be remitted to Sabah from the Federal Government. Unless these procedures are followed, the 40% are never deemed paid by the Federal Government.

In addition, Article 112C 4 (b) also stated that parliament cannot pass a law to deny Sabah and Sarawak from collecting royalty. Every leader says that payment to Sabah and Sarawak are royalties; in reality both Sabah and Sarawak were paid cash, not royalty.

“It is for this reason that it is the Federal Government that collects dividends from Petronas, not Sabah and Sarawak. Perhaps both the Speaker and his deputy are scared that while discussing these issues at the Legislative Assembly they may find that the Petroleum Development Act 1974 is invalid, ultra vires and unconstitutional.

“This will mean that both the Federal Government and Petronas had been operating illegally in Sabah territorial waters. This will certainly open a big can of worms,” Zainnal added.