SAPP MPs voted against Territorial Sea Act in 2012

KOTA KINABALU, May 8, 2018: The two former Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) MPs had voted against the Territorial Sea Act 2012 although they did not have a chance to take part in the debate when the Bill was tabled in Parliament on April 18, 2012.

Former Sepanggar MP Datuk Eric Majimbun said he and fellow SAPP Parliamentarian Datuk Chua Soon Bui of Tawau voted against the legislation in a voice vote along with other opposition MP after about half day of debates.

“Chua and I clearly voted against it along with all the other opposition MPs,” he said.

“Claims by DAP’s Chan Foong Hin that we did not object to this law is a lie. He is once again showing he does not know what he is talking about because he was not an MP,” he said in showing the Hansard record of the Parliamentary proceedings.

He said the legislation known as Act 750 that limited Sabah and Sarawak’s territorial waters to just five miles from the baseline (shoreline) and took away the states’ ownership of the resource rich Continental Shelf, was tabled by the then law minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.

“In tabling the Bill, the government had acknowledged the necessity of legislation Emergency Ordinance No.7 was to lapse on June 22 that year,” Eric said.

(Without Act 750, the ownership of the Sabah and Sarawak’s Territorial Waters that were defined as the area 350 miles from the baseline would have reverted back to both states from June 22, 2012.

Both Sabah and Sarawak have since rejected Act 750 as the legislation did not have the endorsement of the State Assemblies of both states.)

Eric said looking at the Hansard of the proceedings, those present in Parliament on that day include Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, the then Rural Development Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal, Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili and former Deputy Minister Datuk V K Liew.

He said among the MPs who debated the Bill were those from Umno, PKR and PAS,

“The opposition MPs such as R Sivarasa debated on issues affecting Malaya such as the loss of Pulau Batu Putih to Singapore. There was no mention of Sabah and Sarawak’s ownership of the Continental Shelf in the South China Sea,” he said.

He said none of the 29 DAP MPs present that included Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng and Hiew King Cheu had spoken on the Bill as well.

Eric said DAP had a history of telling half truths about their MPs speaking out for Sabah and Sarawak’s interests in Parliament.

“In 1976, Lim Kit Siang and other DAP MPs did not speak out when the BN government tabled a Bill downgrading Sabah and Sarawak’s status to just like other Malaya states,” he said.

“The DAP MPs only spoke out against other Bills on fundamental liberties that were tabled that day. Yet they are going around pretending they had spoken out against the downgrading of Sabah and Sarawak’s status,” Eric added.