High Court throws out lawsuit to invalidate MA63

Counsel Voon Lee Shan and the plaintiffs exiting the High Court after receiving yesterday’s decision.

KUCHING: The High Court here struck out a lawsuit filed by 12 people seeking to annul the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

Judicial Commissioner Alexander Siew How Wai, in delivering his judgement, said the case was struck out after due consideration  that the plaintiffs’ claim is unsustainable.

He explained that the Federal Constitution was the supreme law in Malaysia and under the Federal Constitution, Sabah and Sarawak were part of the nation.

“Sabah and Sarawak cannot become part of Malaysia without the necessary amendments from the Federal Constitution, the amendment of which requires support of at least two-thirds majority of the parliament and consent of Sabah and Sarawak.

“This court cannot disregard or rewrite the Federal Constitution, which the court would be guilty of doing, if it were allow the declaration requested in the suit,” he said.

Therefore, Alexander ruled that the Amended Writ and Statement of Claims be struck out immediately and dismissed with costs of RM10,000 for each of the applications (Sarawak and federal governments).

Earlier, the suit was filed by the plaintiffs led by Dorus Katam Juman on the grounds that MA63 was null and void and Sabah and Sarawak had the right to leave the Federation of Malaysia for independence.

The plaintiffs through counsel Voon Lee Shan argued that MA63 was entered into by North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak through fraud and misrepresentation by the United Kingdom and Malaya governments without according the freedom of the people to choose whether they want to join Malaysia through a referendum.

The 12 plaintiffs named the Federal government, the Sarawak government and the United Kingdom as respondents.

However, the United Kingdom government, which has sovereign immunity, has not submitted to the jurisdiction of the Malaysian court.

The Sarawak government was represented by its state legal counsel Datuk Seri JC Fong, Nicholas Bowie Buying, Khairul Kabir Abdul Kabir, while the federal government was represented by federal counsels Shamsul Bolhassan, Ahmad Hanir Hambaly, Liew Horng Bin, Athina Sim and Mohd Zain Ibrahim.

The 12 plaintiffs were Dorus, Hugh Lawrence Zehnder, Nor Nyawai, Xavier Ginafah Sidop, Jemain Uji, Belayong Nyandang, Kalai Sibok, Yu Chin Lik, Chieng Kung Chiew, Changieng Mapang, Ahmad Awang Alim and Alim @ Giovanni Adlim Mideh.