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Milton Foo on port issues

Milton Foo, SUPP Youth Central Secretary General who is also a board member of Kuching Port Authority bombarded Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How for making a preposterous claim by jumping the gun to defend the exclusive rights to the Bintulu Port as the federal port by the pass­ing of the Dec­la­ra­tion Of An Area In The Bin­tulu District To Be A Fed­eral Port Act 1979 and the Bintulu Port Authority Act 1981.

Foo cited List IIA-Supplement to State List for States of Sabah & Sarawak Item 15 under Article 95B (1)(a) of the Federal Constitution which provides.

“Ports and harbours, other than those declared to be federal by or under federal law; regulation of traffic by water in ports and harbours or on rivers wholly within the State, except traffic in federal ports or harbours; foreshores.”

The pertinent issue in question now is, whether the Bintulu Port which is declared as federal port under the said Acts (i.e. the Dec­la­ra­tion Of An Area In The Bin­tulu District To Be A Fed­eral Port Act 1979 and the Bintulu Port Authority Act 1981) is constitutional or not, namely whether or not the Sarawak government then has been duly consulted and Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) has duly endorsed the so-called federal port in 1979 or 1981.

Upon perusing the Hansard of DUN sittings from 1979 to 1981, there is no evidence that Sarawak Legislative Assembly or DUN has given such mandate to the establishment of the federal port in Bintulu. It follows that both the said 1979 and 1981 Acts which had been passed unilaterally by the Malaysian Parliament without consultation to Sarawak may be contrary to the provisions of the Federal Constitution thus rendering the said Acts “void for unconstitutionality”.

Foo further argued that if by passing any Act of Parliament unilaterally and without consultation to the Sarawak Government and/or endorsement by Sarawak DUN, it would definitely put Sarawak’s interests at great stake as tomorrow the Parliament could simply pass another Act to declare and build another federal port in any part or territory of Sarawak without any endorsement from Sarawak. It is utterly absurd to say that the Federal government has the right to do so as long as the bill has been tabled in the Parliament and the law has been passed by the Parliament notwithstanding that Sarawak is not agreeable to it.

Foo also echoed the views of PRS Youth Chief Datuk Snowdan Lawan who is also Youth and Sports Assistant Minister in his press statement that it is still within the ambit of the Sarawak government’s jurisdiction to revisit and where necessary, to review the lease of state land or the establishment of the port took place in relation to Sarawak’s constitutional rights.

Foo added that the Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak Tan Sri James Masing being also the minister in charge of all ports in Sarawak has a good arguable case on the merits when he said that despite the port was declared and built under the said 1981 Act, there are laws passed in Parliament which state that some laws can only be effective after the endorsement of Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN).

See’s remark against Masing for attempting to incite and fuel anti federal sentiment which strains the federal-state relationship only shows that he is only subservient to the federal but not to his people of Sarawak. Foo also reminded See that he is the elected representative of Sarawak by the people of Sarawak but not the Malayan.

Milton Foo

Milton Foo

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