Constitutional amendments of MA63 merely to appease Borneo, says analyst
27 January 2022
By Wartawan Nabalu News
KOTA KINABALU: The constitutional amendments related to Malaysia Agreement 1960 (MA63) was seen as merely to appease the people of Borneo and now recognising the need for change in relationships between the two states and the peninsula, said political analyst Dr Bridget Welsh.
Speaking as a panellist during a webinar held by Wisdom Foundation recently, she is of the view that the amendments accordingly lack substance.
The webinar, titling "2021 Constitutional Amendment: MA63 and The Status of the Borneo States in Malaysia", aims to discuss the passing of MA63 Bill which gives recognition to the demands and special status of Sabah and Sarawak upon joining Malaysia in the federation.
Welsh said, while it’s not about elite representation at the national level, there is growing sentiment for cessation and considerable unanimity across political perspectives in Sabah and Sarawak for greater representation.
According to her, key issues that involve Sabah and Sarawak have yet been mentioned in terms of transparency.
This, she added, includes the documents and issues over the 20-point Agreement that are still very much at the elite level.
"One of the problems with the amendments is that the conversation is very much legalistic and not necessary in terms of dealing with the substantive issues.
"Until the grievances have been addressed meaningfully in terms of development, infrastructures, social services, health, education, resources, revenue, access to economy and cultural rights, there will be significant problems to fester," she asserted.
Welsh opined that it is the responsibility of the Sabah and Sarawak leaders to give more substance to the constitutional amendments to establish political space in this area.