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Appointing non-Sabahan as a Nominated Assemblyman contravenes MA63: PBS

KOTA MARUDU: The appointment of a non-Sabahan as a nominated assemblyman by the Warisan-led State Government shows they have no respect on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) President Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili described it as setting a dangerous precedent.

Parti Bersatu Sabah President Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili accompanied by party leaders of Pitas and Tandek divisions to survey potential commercial ecotourism sites along the Marudu Bay, near here. SNT Pix/Credit PBS

He also feared that the decision would now open the floodgates for non-Sabahans and Malayan party leaders to occupy political positions in the Sabah administration.

He said this in response to the appointment of Loh Ee Eng as a nominated assemblyman under the DAP’s quota recently.

The Kota Marudu Member of Parliament explained that the provision of nominated assemblymen in the State Constitution was meant to give opportunity to minority groups to contribute in the political decision-making in the State.

He added that the minority groups were meant to include native communities not represented in the normal democratic process of election because of their small numbers in rural constituencies.

“The nominated assemblymen provision was also meant to pave way for appointment of outstanding local professionals to balance ethic composition of the elected assembly.

“But all intents and purposes, the appointment provision was meant for Sabahans, specifically natives of Sabah. It was never meant for non-Sabahans of Malaya origin,” he stressed.

Speaking after surveying potential commercial ecotourism sites along the Marudu Bay with PBS leaders of Pitas and Tandek divisions, Ongkili pointed out that the foundations of the MA63 are the Twenty Points, Cobbold Commission and Inter-Government Committee Reports (IGC), and one of the central conditions enshrined in the IGC recommendations is the Borneonisation safeguard.

“Put simply, the condition on Annex B of the IGC on Public Service states that in the recruitment of senior officers and decision makers  of the government, priority must be given to officers and leaders of local or native origin, including for the appointment of nominated assemblymen.

“By appointing a non-Sabahan as a nominated assemblyman, the Warisan Government has breached the Malaysia Agreement,  specifically the IGC safeguard,” he asserted.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal had stated recently that the appointment of Loh Ee Eng who is DAP Sabah treasurer was following request by DAP itself since the seat was under its quota.-SabahNewsToday