Monday, December 6

Dr Jeffrey only gives academic views, historical facts


Stephen Teo

KOTA KINABALU: The new Federal Constitution mentioned by Sabah Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan in an online public forum is just a history-based academic summary for thought input to policy makers in Malaysia.

Karambunai STAR Division head Kapitan Stephen Teo said Dr Jeffrey issued a view based on academic questions recorded in a video to be shared in the forum as a sharing of minds among the participants.

“However, when Dr Jeffrey’s views on the new Federal Constitution were commented on by certain parties, there was a misunderstanding that gave the impression that the views were addressed to the MA63 minister in Putrajaya,” he said.

Stephen, who is also a Board of Director member of the Sabah Rubber Industry Board (LIGS), stressed that the forum where Dr Jeffrey channelled his views on the new Federal Constitution was organized by a non-governmental organization (NGO).

The forum entitled ‘Beyond the 2020 Sabah Pool: Sabah Moving Forward’ was organized by the Sabah Economic Empowerment and Development Organization (SEEDS) with the participation of academics and activists, including Penampang Member of Parliament Datuk Darell Leiking.

According to Stephen, the content of Dr Jeffrey’s view mentions that the current Malaysian Constitution is an adaptation of the Federal Constitution of Malaya, 1957.

Thus, Dr Jeffrey who is also the Member of Parliament for Keningau, sees the Constitution of Federation of Malaya in 1957 just renamed as Federal Constitution of Malaysia after the formation of Malaysia which includes Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak.

Stephen explained such facts are also discussed in various historical studies in Malaysia, including the book ‘From the Federation of Borneo to the Federation of Malaysia’ which was studied by Dr Saimin Ginsari.

Stephen added the statement emphasized by Dr Jeffrey who is also the Deputy Chief Minister of Sabah is clear that ‘the Federation of Malaysia should include the common aspirations between Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak as three equivalent territories’.

He said Dr Jeffrey’s views were generally addressed to policymakers in the country which Darell himself responded that statement as deserving of support among Members of Parliament from Sabah.

Following the views expressed by Dr Jeffrey, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili stated that there was no need to draft a new agreement to replace the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63) which states Sabah and Sarawak joined with Malaya in the formation of Malaysia.

According to Dr Maximus who is also the President of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), the current government has managed the ‘weaknesses’ and improved the matters that have been identified by the working committee under the Special Council of the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MKMA63).

Stephen concludes that Dr Jeffrey’s views are more academic in nature, based on historical facts which aims to invite members of parliament to take joint steps as the highest policy maker in the country.