Before looking at the rights under MA 63 it is utmost important that both the federal and governments of Sabah and Sarawak need to determine the legality of the formation of the federation of Malaysia. All things must be examined from the roots including the legality of the Treaty, MA63. The GPS government should disclose to the public what they had found in London about the matters concerning MA63.
If the Treaty was invalid or illegal, what is there to implement? The consequence is that, if the Treaty was invalid or illegally signed, the federation of Malaysia has to be dissolved or parties should leave the federation. If the Treaty is valid, then, just implement all terms and conditions therein. What is there to wait or to negotiate or re-negotiate? The matter had been left outstanding or unsolved for the past 59 years.
The suggestion by the honourable prime minster, Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim that things in MA63 could be negotiated a little more seems will not bring an end soon to the “ghost” that had been haunting the federal and state governments of Sabah and Sarawak for past years. The prime minister may need to be informed that peoples of Sabah and Sarawak are aware that the main intention for having the federation of Malaysia formed was to protect the interest of the British in South East Asia after world war II and for Malaya to benefit from the oil resources of Sabah and Sarawak.
If the prime minister wish to deny that fact that these oil and gas resources had never been used to develop Malaya, then repeal the Petroleum Development Act 1974, Seas Territorial Act and also the Continental Shelf Act and to return all oil and gas resources to Sabah and Sarawak.
Many Sabahans and Sarawakians in 1960s did not agree as to how the federation of Malaysia should be formed. This led to huge public demonstrations against the idea because Sabah and Sarawak were not granted independence by the British before deciding on Malaysia be formed.
To restore all rights of Sarawak, all must begin with putting back Sabah and Sarawak to their original positions as countries, not as regions or provinces within the federation of Malaysia. This is because Malaysia was a plan for Greater Malaya and it is difficult to dispute that Sabah and Sarawak had not been absorbed, annexed or merged for the plan for Greater Malaya, that is, to enlarge Malaya and this was carefully planned and done by way of MA63.
The fear now is that the term, region (wilayah) or province being used as suggested by some federal and local leaders, will one day see Sabah and Sarawak becoming federal territories and be called as Wilayah Persekutuan Sabah and also Wilayah Persekutuan Sarawak. This will be like Labuan, which is now, known as Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan.
If this happens, the immigration laws protecting the rights of Sabah and Sarawak under MA63 will be left redundant.
VOON LEE SHAN
President, Parti Bumi Kenyalang