KOTA KINABALU, SABAH – The Sabah government will continue to oppose any attempt to enforce the Territorial Sea Act 2012 (Act 750) which limits Sabah’s boundaries to three nautical miles.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said the Act is unconstitutional as it violates Article 1(3) of the Federal Constitution which states that the territories of each of state are the territories comprised immediately before Malaysia Day.
He said that for the record, the Sabah Assembly has never assented to the expansion of the Act here.
“Changing the boundaries of Sabah needs a majority vote in the assembly. Except for the period when Labuan was given away and made a federal territory in 1985, we have never changed our boundaries…
“Losing a territory is a heart-breaking experience for any independent nation. Changing our boundaries without our consent is just as painful as losing our territories and trust me, the people will be furious,” he said in a statement here today.
Kitingan who attended a briefing on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) chaired by the Chief Minister yesterday said the federal government should not insist on extending the Act across the South China Sea to Sabah and Sarawak as it would never be agreed upon.
He added it is illogical to argue that since the Act is enforced in Malaya, it should therefore be enforced across the federation, including Sabah and Sarawak.
“We are separate regions. London does not go to Scotland and seize their territories on their whims and fancies. The same principle holds true for this federation…
“While we are on the subject, I’d like to bring up the fact that the federal government illegally surrendered Blocks L & M within Sabah boundaries in 2008 to Brunei. We want them the be recovered as well,” he said.
The issue on Territorial Sea Act 2012 is one of the few legal issues which have remained unresolved including Sabah’s oil and gas resources despite several rounds of meetings since 2017.