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Progress on Sabah rights push
Published on: Friday, February 09, 2018

Kuala Lumpur: A meeting on Sabah's special rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 between MySabah group and the Attorney General's Chamber Thursday was "positive".

Former Petagas Assemblyman James Ligunjang said a two-way meeting was held with Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali.

Apandi said the chambers will now look into the legal aspects of the Sabah rights and the results of which will be handed to Najib for further action.

Also present to meet Apandi were MySabah Chairman Foreign Affairs Minister Anifah Aman, Sabah's chairman of state rights committee-cum-special tasks minister Teo Chee Kang, MySabah's legal adviser Tengku Fuad Ahmad and officers from AGC.

"There should be an announcement soon. It was a positive meeting," Ligunjang told The Malaysian Insight.


Tengku Fuad said among the focus was on the restoration of the special rights of the state, including the return of Sabah's 40pc revenue entitlement. Payment was halted in 1974.

Putrajaya has been more open on East Malaysians' demands on the special state rights, with Prime Minister Najib Razak promising to return them whether Putrajaya may have "deliberately or mistakenly" taken it away.

The long-simmering issue of Sabah and Sarawak rights and autonomy has gained traction in recent years and prompted the East Malaysian states to send its lawyers to study all documents related to the formation of Malaysia over the past two years.

In late 2016, MySabah sent Fuad to London a couple of times and he even sought the advice of Queen Counsel Anthony Lester on the special privileges under the federal constitution.


While Sarawak has opted to restore the state rights directly to Putrajaya, Sabah maintained a diplomatic approach, setting up its own committees and subsequently drafted its own white paper to be sent to Putrajaya.

The white paper was vetted and handed to Putrajaya after the final meeting of the Technical Committee on the Devolution of Powers to Sabah and Sarawak co-chaired by Anifah Aman, a Sabahan, and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nancy Shukri, a Sarawakian, last year.

Two committees were set up – steering committee and the technical committee at federal level.

The steering committee is chaired by Anifah and Nancy, while the technical committee is chaired by Apandi.

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