According Prof. Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi, Sabah and Sarawak cannot withdraw from the Federation. He iterated that joining a federation is irrevocable. See Point #7 of Sabah 20-point agreement prior to formation of Malaysia.
Former Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) Supreme Council member, Dr Chong Eng Leong stressed that Sabah and Sarawak are supposed to be equal partners in the Federation when the two states agreed to FORM Malaysia. To correct the fact, Sabah and Sarawak NEVER JOINED Malaya. Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak consented to form a new Federation called Malaysia in September 16, 1963.
Prof. Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi did suggest that the only way for Sabah and Sarawak to drop out of Malaysia is to be expelled, just like what happen to Singapore.
However, I do agreed with Prof. Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi who is from the Faculty of Law, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) when he stated that Sabah Immigration Law was undermined by the influx of illegal immigrants to Sabah. "It has been undermined by closing one eye, two eyes, three eyes, all three eyes. It is clear for everyone to see like an elephant in the sitting-room." He indirectly said that Sabahan are too generous to the illegal immigrants while the federal government have couldn't-care-less attitude to enforce the immigration law in Sabah.
* Important dates for the independence of Sarawak
* Sabah 20-point agreement prior to formation of Malaysia
* Operation against illegals in Sabah a big flop
* PBS leaders ignored illegal immigrants problem in Sabah
From DAILY EXPRESS NEWS
Secession is out
Kota Kinabalu: There is no question of secession from Malaysia as the States cannot withdraw from the Federation. Prof. Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi from the Faculty of Law, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) said joining a federation is irrevocable.
"No question of secession, not even through a referendum. It has to be done by amendments of the law. Bringing your grouses to the court is another matter but seceding is a totally different thing," he said, Saturday, after the Question and Answer (Q & A) session at the Seminar on the Formation of Malaysia and the Constitutional Rights of the States of Sabah and Sarawak under the Federal Constitution.
Earlier, in response to Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Yong Teck Lee's query, Prof. Faruqi said the right to join and secede is quite unusual and this will not be allowed to happen.
"It's unlike the situation in a confederation where component states have the right to withdraw. But the states in a Federation cannot do so. The European Union (EU) and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) are confederations." He quipped that perhaps in 1963 when the lawyers drafted the Malaysia Agreement, they should have gone for a confederation to cast their destiny vis-a-vis the federation. "But this was not done. Now you have no right to secede." He also clarified that Singapore did not withdraw from the Federation of Malaysia. "It was expelled but said to have withdrawn as a matter of courtesy."
Yong contended that despite Sabah's special provisions in the area of immigration, the uncontrolled influx of illegal immigrants has enabled them to become Malaysians and Sabahans. "And they have become very much Bumiputras, overtaking non-Bumiputras. Is there a legal remedy over this issue?" he asked.
In response, Prof. Faruqi described it as an intra-state dispute, saying any effort to seek a declaration in court might not be favourable as it would give the indication that the people are troubled.
He, however, suggested seeking international precedence. "Regions within a country have gone to the United Nations or United Nations agencies to seek redress." While conceding that the special position of Sabah and Sarawak has been observed in that immigration lies in the hands of the two states, Prof. Faruqi noted that the law relating to immigration has been undermined by the influx of illegal immigrants to Sabah.
"It has been undermined by closing one eye, two eyes, three eyes, all three eyes. It is clear for everyone to see like an elephant in the sitting-room."
On Cash President Datuk Patrick Sindu's call for a referendum to review the provisions accorded to Sabah (and Sarawak) in the Malaysia Agreement (which became the Malaysia Act), which should have been done 10 years after the formation of Malaysia, Prof Faruqi said referendums have no legal effect. Sindu claimed there has been a breach of the agreement.
"However, they have a political effect. You can have a referendum tomorrow to repeal the ISA. That does not mean the ISA is repealed. The law is passed in accordance with the law."
Former Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) Supreme Council member, Dr Chong Eng Leong stressed that Sabah and Sarawak are supposed to be equal partners in the Federation.
"But now the perception in Sabah is that the beginning was good but after 1965, we have a sense of being cheated." Referring to Article 161E of the Federal Constitution (Safeguards for constitutional position of Sabah and Sarawak), Prof Faruqi said there should be no amendment to the constitution as regards the quota of members of the House of Representatives (Dewan Rakyat) allocated to the two states.
On claims from the floor that the rights of Sabah and Sarawak have been eroded over the years, he said maybe, they can apply for a declaration in the court in seeking to protect the proportion of their quota in Parliament, which has been affected by subsequent amendments to the constitution.
"It seems Sabah and Sarawak have a lot of cases to keep the Federal Court busy," he quipped.
To Dr Chong's contention that there is no increase in the number of Members of Parliament (MPs) for Sabah and Sarawak, lawyer Sukumaran Vanugopal who chaired the Q & A session argued that what is more important is whether the MPs are willing to stand up for the people's rights and speak up for them in the Parliament.
"As it is, the party whip system requires MPs to toe the line of the Federal Government. This is the dilemma facing Mps."
Former MP and Senator Datuk Hj Karim Ghani drew laughter when he said leaders at the time of the formation of Malaysia allowed themselves to be punched on the nose.
"When Tengku Abdul Rahman proposed the formation of Malaysia, it was to comprise four different nations. We (then North Borneo) were poor and undeveloped but we had hoped to be rich and developed like Semenanjung as we are equal components.
"When Singapore withdrew from the federation, our share of wealth should have been upped going by 100 per cent for three nations; instead our (Sabah's) share dropped to 7.6 per cent. Who stole the other 25 per cent? We (Sabah) are the poorest nation now, most undeveloped," lamented the former interpreter for the Cobbold Commission which visited North Borneo (now Sabah).
Karim said leaders had failed to speak with one voice in terms of Sabah's rights and share of wealth and resources. "We were disunited, we did not speak up, so after 45 years, the promise of good things had failed."
In his opinion, leaders who insist on Aug. 31 being recognised as Malaysia Day want Sabah and Sarawak to feel that they joined Malaysia and did not form Malaysia.
Member of Parliament for Kimanis, Datuk Anifah Aman concurred with Karim on the "nose-punching" act, saying "It is largely our fault and due to the divide and rule concept."
The seminar also heard that while Sabah and Sarawak have been granted immigration powers, the Minister of Home Affairs has the right to grant citizenship, which is not to be challenged in a court of law.
"The conflict here in Sabah is that we don't have the right to say who should be citizens. The State Director of Immigration is not answerable to the Chief Minister of Sabah but to the Director-General of Immigration, Malaysia.
"Loyalty must be to the Sabah State Government. Hence the Director of the National Registration Department and Director of Immigration should be a Sabahan," Anifah pointed out.
On his travels to 32 countries, Anifah noted that none of the ambassadors or high commissioners in those nations were Sabahans.
On the PTI (Pendatang Tanpa Izin) problem, he said we had let them punch our nose for so long. "By now, we realised that our powers had been taken away, and therefore, we are left with a lot of (waste). I regret mostÉwe have not done justice, we have not served our people well.
"We allowed ourselves to be exploited. The first fundamental thing is to protect the interests of Sabah. However, we won't achieve this despite what the Constitution says. When we point this out, other MPs criticise us, so how can we achieve our effort (to protect the interests) which also calls for the will and understanding of Sabah people."
At this juncture, Vanugopal said according to the Immigration Act, the Director-General of Immigration is to listen to the directives issued by the State authority. "In the light of what has happened, it boils down to enforcement of provisions in the law."
The one-day seminar was jointly organised by the Council of Justices of the Peace Sabah (MAJAPS) headed by Datuk Clarence Bongkos Malakun and Sabah Law Association led by Datuk John Sikayun at Pacific Sutera Hotel here. Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok officiated at the seminar.
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