Claims by certain quarters that Sabah’s rights were not fully executed under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) was just a mere political rhetoric to trigger Sabahan’s anger and hatred for the ruling party Barisan Nasional. Most of which who may not fully understand the history and incidents behind the state formation. Thus, it is crucial that Sabahans need to understand the actual content of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) including all recorded documents and historical events.
Most commentaries on the matter were done without a proper guidance on historical documents which caused many facts pertaining to the position of Sabah and Sarawak contradict the actual situation in MA63. They are also guided by the Memorandum 20 and The Cobbold Commission’s Matters and Reports in the history of the formation of Malaysia which in the documents only contain proposals and negotiations and it is not the sole legal agreement other than the MA63 which enforces all recommendations in the document concerned.
Among the issues frequently raised by the opposition about Sabah status in Malaysia which is interpreted as equal to Peninsular Malaysia or the Federation of Malaya during the formation of Malaysia in 1963, is just a misconception.
Since the inception of Malaysia, it has been clearly stated in MA63 that Sabah and Sarawak have the same position as other states in the peninsula, but it has a constitutional guarantee of autonomy and rights. However, there are those such as the Sabah Sarawak Secession Group or also known as Kumpulan Sabah Sarawak Keluar Malaysia (SSKM), a United Kingdom-based and led by Doris Jones collaborating with the Sabah opposition leaders, claimed that Sabah and Sarawak status were stripped off.
Are we still not clear that it was politically motivated when they propagated deep repugnance particularly among younger generations to despise the federal ruling party Barisan Nasional?
This adverse group should not be considered as the majority voice in view of the history of Malaysia’s formation when more than a century ago, it was concluded after obtaining two-thirds of the local’s support. In fact, Sabah has enjoyed many benefits upon Malaysia formation. The state will be back towards its underdeveloped position after more than half century of independence through Malaysia.
Since this issue has been brought up once again and made into the opposition political subject in Sabah, now by the newly formed Warisan party, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia challenged for an open debate to Warisan President Datuk Shafie Apdal.
Perhaps any representative of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) should also be ready to welcome Tan Sri Pandikar’s challenge to arguing over the issue of Islam as the official religion of the state. Tan Sri Pandikar has also made it an open secret that when PBS dominated Sabah state government from USNO in 1985, PBS has disagreed to abolish the law that Islam as the official religion of Sabah but instead agreed to add it to be included in Article 5B.
Obviously, there is no urgency or even any necessities for politicians to file a motion to review the Malaysia Agreement 1963 as all state privileges have been implemented including Sabah who is also enjoying progress. Among them, PM Najib has fulfilled the most demanded development in Sabah when Pan-Borneo Highway and other provisions are met.