By Karen Bong
KUCHING, March 28: The Sarawak Consultative Committee has reserved its comments on the proposal to amend Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution at this point as members of the Committee have not seen the proposed bill.
State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar said the Committee met today with Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to discuss pertinent issues on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), including the announcement by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong on the proposal to amend Article 1(2) the Federal Constitution.
“For the moment, the Consultative Committee would reserve its comments on the matter until after the proposed bill has been sighted by members of the Committee,” he told a press conference after the meeting at the new DUN Complex here today.
“We have not seen the bill although it has been informed to the press by the federal Minister for Law (Liew) on March 11 and later for first reading on April 3 and second reading on April 9. But we have not seen the bill.”
Asfia, however, added that the Consultative Committee would support any amendments to the Federal Constitution, or any law for that matter, if they were convinced that it contained a substantive improvement to the rights and interests of Sarawak and not merely for cosmetic purposes.
“The Consultative Committee was also briefed that the issues being discussed by the MA63 Committee are progressing well although no final decision has yet been made on those issues,” he informed.
“We note that these are important issues to the state as well as to the nation. So, we would be prepared to wait and be updated further in accordance with the schedule already agreed by the Federal Steering Committee.”
As the discussion has been classified as “highly confidential and secret”, Asfia pointed out that the Consultative Committee was not at liberty to divulge the contents of those discussions at this point.
“Be rest assured that when the time comes, when the report of the committees have been finalised, we will disclose more to the public and the people of Sarawak,” he assured.
Since the last Sarawak Consultative Committee Meeting, the federal Cabinet Steering Committee, in which Abang Johari led on behalf of Sarawak, have held another meeting on March 5.
Prior to this date, several other meetings had been held by the various committees, including the Technical Committee, the Working Committee and its various clusters.
Today’s meeting with the Chief Minister served as an update on the status of the MA63 discussions held. It was also to consult with the Consultative Committee as mandated by the DUN.
DUN Deputy Speaker Datuk Gerawat Gala, Second Minister of Finance Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, Assistant Minister of Corporate Affairs Abdullah Saidol, Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan Lawan, Bukit Assek assemblywoman Irene Chang, Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How and Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting were among those present. — DayakDaily