Exempt Sarawak, Sabah from TSA

Lina Soo

KUCHING: The federal government has been urged to exempt Sarawak and Sabah from the Territorial Sea Act (TSA) 2012.

Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) president Lina Soo said the application of the TSA to the Borneo states is unconstitutional and unlawful as the both states have special protections as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and Federal Constitution.

“I call upon de facto law minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar to put forward a proviso to the TSA 2012 to be legislated in Parliament to read:  ‘This Act shall not apply to the coastal states of Sarawak and Sabah’. 

“This will immediately restore the boundaries of Sarawak and Sabah to our pre-Malaysia territorial boundaries and in conformity with United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (Unclos),” she said on Friday (Sept 24).

Soo added that the same protocol needed to be applied to the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) 1974 to restore Sarawak’s ownership and all economic rights over its oil and gas. 

“Now is a golden opportunity for Wan Junaidi to prove his mettle and moral courage to redress the injustices and exploitation suffered by Sarawak and Sabah over the decades,” she said.

Soo was commenting on the statement by Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Noor who concurred with the motion to reject the TSA.

She hoped that Hajiji would walk the talk and for the motion being tabled and passed unanimously in the next Sabah Legislative Assembly sitting, rightfully restoring the heritage of all Sabahans.

“TSA had usurped the sovereignty of the Borneo states by reducing our territorial waters from 12 nautical miles to three nautical miles which was done without the express consent of Sarawak and Sabah through their respective State Legislature.

“TSA violates Article 1(3) of the Federal Constitution which states that the territories of each State are the territories comprised immediately before Malaysia Day, and there shall be no alteration to the boundary unless expressed by a law made by the respective State Legislature,” Soo said.