Jeffrey Moots New Federal Constitution To Resolve Sabah Sarawak Status


 
Jeffrey Kitingan said a new Malaysia Agreement (MA) should also be created, because the MA63 document didn’t turn out the way the two Borneo states had intended.KOTA KINABALU: Sabah deputy chief minister Jeffrey Kitingan believes a new Federal Constitution is the answer to resolving the status of Sabah and Sarawak in the Malaysian federation.
The Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) president said according to the original constitution (Constitution of the Federation of Malaya), the federation was the one established in 1957, which was known as Malaya.
The same constitution was later introduced as the Constitution of Malaysia after the formation of the new nation comprising Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak on Sept 16, 1963, and thereafter the Federal Constitution.
“If it is that federation, then that is the federation of Malaya. What are Sabah and Sarawak doing in that federation? Where is the federation of Malaysia?” he asked in an online forum today.
“So if you want to form the Federation of Malaysia, we need to have a new agreement, a new constitution where Sabah, Sarawak and the peninsula, which are now called wilayah (territories), must be on equal footing.
“Why not we (the three entities) sit down together and create a new Federal Constitution to resolve the issue of Sabah and Sarawak because this is what is hampering us in Malaysia?”
Kitingan was responding to a question on the way forward for Sabah in a recorded video aired in the “Beyond the 2020 Sabah Polls: Sabah Moving Forward” virtual forum organised by the Society for Empowerment and Economic Development of Sabah.
The Keningau MP is of the opinion that a new Malaysia Agreement should also be created, saying the existing Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) document did not turn out as the two Borneo states had intended.
“It is not in accordance with our aspirations. We should be forming a Malaysian union where the independent states of Sabah, Sarawak and the peninsula will come together (as one nation). What we have right now is too complicated. Are we a federation or a union?
“The way forward is for Sabah to be more independent, to be able to fulfill its own aspirations and not be tied to the agenda of Malaya (the peninsula).
“If you want Malaysia to succeed then you must correct the mistakes and wrongs that have been occurring all this while. You must resolve the injustice and inequality. Only then can we move forward,” Kitingan said.
He added that the state was not moving forward the way Sabahans wanted because it had become too dependent on the federal government.
“The federal government has made Sabah too dependent on it in terms of security, finance and development, among others.
“Not only that, the political parties from the peninsula come over to Sabah and contest our seats. By doing so they are taking away our right to speak, thus reducing our role as equal partners. So I think we need to get away from that,” said Kitingan, who is also the Tambunan assemblyman.
He said it was better for the local-based parties in Sabah and Sarawak to address issues in their respective areas while the peninsula outfits dealt with their own back home.
“And then we come together and work as partners at the federal level. The state government should also be completely governed and ruled by state political parties – that is the way forward for me.
“If not, then this is not the Malaysia we wanted. As long as it is not the nation we aspired for, the federal-state conflict will continue and we will be wasting more time talking about this rather than moving forward,” he said.
Responding to Kitingan’s comments, Warisan deputy president Darell Leiking, who was also a panellist in the forum, proposed that the former set up a state-level MA63 committee to keep track and demand Sabah’s rights from Putrajaya.
“He can easily, together with Sabah chief minister Hajiji Noor, set up the committee to represent the views of the state Cabinet to the federal government,” he said.
The Penampang MP said Kitingan was an important part of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s government because his support as MP enabled the latter to form his administration.
“He can easily leave the federal government at any time and his (Muhyiddin’s) numbers will change.
“So do it (state-level MA63 committee). There are 25 MPs in Sabah who will support him on this,” Leiking said. - FMT


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