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11/21/2017 Sabah govt says focused on retaining states special rights | Free Malaysia Today

Special Tasks Minister Teo Chee Kang says it is not important to determine whose interpretation of MA63 is right as long as
all Sabah's rights are given back.

KOTA KINABALU:
The Sabah government is focused on ensuring the states special rights are not trampled on, instead of debating
interpretations of words in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Federal Constitution.

Sabah Special Tasks Minister Teo Chee Kang said there were many different interpretations of the words used in the Federal
Constitution and MA63, leading to different understandings of the documents.

For me, the more important issue is not the form but the substance of these documents.

Whether we want to call ourselves a state, a territory, a country (or) a component, as long as Sabah and Sarawak continue to
enjoy the special rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution, nobody can take them away from us, he said.

Teo was responding to a question from Wilfred Bumburing (Tamparuli-Parti Cinta Sabah) during question time in the state
assembly today.

Teo said Sabah and Sarawak have the right to enact laws in the sectors under the State List, and that the Bornean states also
have special grants under the Federal Constitution.

In substance, we are different from all the other states in Malaya. This is a fact that cannot be denied. I do not think it is
good to discuss semantics, he said.

Bumburing also asked how the state government interpreted Article 1 of the Federal Constitution on whether Sabah is one of
three parts of Malaysia or one of the 13 states of the federation.

The issue is one of the most hotly debated in the media, especially among MA63 activists.

The activists are demanding that the 1976 amendment which demoted Sabah to a state be reversed to better represent the
true status of Sabah as an equal partner in the Federation of Malaya.

They said MA63 was not signed by any of the states within the Federation of Malaya, thus their status was not the same as
Sabah and Sarawak who were among the five signatories.

Teo insisted the question was mere semantics and therefore unimportant, and should not be used to gain political mileage.

He also commented on Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulias opinion that Sabah was the same as other states in the
peninsula.

We respect that. But to the Sabah government, both the Bornean states are special compared to other states in the peninsula.
This is in the Federal Constitution and cannot be changed, he said.

Meanwhile, replying to a question by Lajim Ukin (Klias-Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah) who asked how long it would take for
the state government to get back all Sabahs rights which had been taken away by the federal government, Teo said the state
government through its special committee to look into the issue was working on the timeline.
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11/21/2017 Sabah govt says focused on retaining states special rights | Free Malaysia Today

I cannot predict how long it will take. Some can be corrected through administrative decisions only, but those that need
amendments to the constitution or the law will certainly take a long time, he said.

Najib to Sabahans: I share your sentiment


on MA63
Prime Minister Najib Razak vows to return any of Sabahs rights
which were taken away.

Free Malaysia Today

Sabah, Swak judicial independence under


MA63 breached, says PBS
Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Pairin Kitingan says position of High
Court of Sabah and Sarawak must be restored to original status
agreed upon in 1963.

Free Malaysia Today

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