SAPP: Make MA63 report public

Kota Kinabalu, Monday, 23 November 2020

The government report on MA63 should be made public so that the people can keep track of and evaluate the implementation of the Malaysia Agreement. Public scrutiny on the progress of MA63 compliance will keep the government leaders and lawyers on their toes.

It is only when the people, the politicians, the academia and public servants, including judges, know the extent of non-compliance with MA63 that the country as a whole can move together in tandem with each other towards full compliance of the agreement that led to the formation of Malaysia.

To keep the MA63 report away from the public view is to allow the ruling parties to be complacent and to take their own sweet time. The Perikatan-led government should not behave like the former Pakatan Harapan government which had refused to disclose the MA63 report. Under Pakatan before, what the people got was rhetorical assurances that the then Prime Minister would discuss with the Chief Ministers of Sarawak and Sabah. That past practice of shielding the MA63 report from the public scrutiny was obviously unsatisfactory and led to nowhere.

It has been a long 57 years ever since the agreement was signed. Two generations have passed. The full implementation of the MA63 is way long overdue. There should be no more technical committees that will bury MA63 in the maze of bureaucracy.

Attorney-Generals should be drafting new laws by now

Instead, the Sabah and Sarawak and the Federal Attorney General Chambers should by now be drafting new Acts of Parliament and new State enactments to give effect to the compliance of MA63.

SAPP has been advocating compliance with MA63 for a decade. SAPP also supported a public interest case against both the Federal and Sabah state governments to force the government to implement the iron clad promise of Borneonisation of the public service in Sabah.

One of the scary comments of an appeal court judge in the Borneonisation case was that there was no statute (Act of Parliament) on Borneonisation. As such, he had held that the two Sabahan plaintiffs (ex-policeman Bernard Fung and ex-teacher Nazib Maidan) had no locus standi to sue the Federal governments to implement Borneonisation. It seems that that judge depended solely on Acts of Parliament. He had ignored the legal force of an international treaty, also known as the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

Datuk Yong Teck Lee
President, SAPP

Author: Johnny Chin