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All Sabah reps united in rejecting law that 'limits control over its continental shelf'
Published on: Thursday, September 23, 2021
By: FMT
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The borders of Sabah and Sarawak’s territorial waters in 1958, before the formation of Malaysia. The territorial waters were reduced to just 3 nautical miles under the Territorial Sea Act 2012.
Kota Kinabalu: Chief minister Hajiji Noor is open to working with the opposition on a motion for Sabah to reject the Territorial Sea Act (TSA) 2012.

Responding to a question by Warisan’s Moyog assemblyman Darell Leiking at the state assembly today, Hajiji welcomed his suggestion that both sides of the political divide combine their efforts on this motion.

“I feel this is a good proposal and we can work on it in the hope of resolving some of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) issues,” he said to the thumping of tables by assemblymen during his winding-up speech.

“I think this is the hope of our people and those in this state assembly,” he added.

“The Sabah government’s stand is that the state’s boundary rights should be as stated under the North Borneo (Alteration of Boundaries) Order in Council, 1954, which covers the continental shelf.

“As such, the rights and interests of the state in relation to this will be brought to the special committee on MA63 chaired by the prime minister,” Hajiji said.

Hajiji had said yesterday that the Sabah government would look at Leiking’s proposal to reject the TSA, which has been a point of contention for politicians from both Sabah and Sarawak.

Leiking had said that the law limits Sabah’s control over its continental shelf.

The TSA is one of four MA63 issues that have remained unresolved, aside from Sabah’s oil and gas resources.

Leiking, who is Warisan deputy president, had said Sarawak and Kelantan had openly objected to the TSA, with the latter approving a motion in the state assembly to reject the law.

The TSA, passed by Parliament in 2012, outlines the limits of the area of sovereignty of the country and its states from the coastline.

While international law limits Malaysian territorial waters to 12 nautical miles (22km) from the coast, the TSA limits state jurisdiction to only three nautical miles (5.5km) from the coast.

Earlier, Hajiji stressed that the Sabah government would continue to protect and fight for state rights enshrined under MA63 as well as the Federal Constitution.

He also welcomed the remarks by government and opposition representatives during the state assembly sitting on the need for all of them to be united in reclaiming the rights and dues owed to Sabah.

“Differences in political ideology should not be a barrier between us to fight for these rights at the federal level,” he said.

“Our unity and agreement are important so that we will always be on the same wavelength to defend the people’s rights for the benefit of the state.”

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