Committee based on IGC to reclaim state’s rights under MA63

Abang Johari (seated third right) speaks to reporters after chairing the State BN meeting at PBB headquarters in Bako, Petra Jaya, Kuching.

KUCHING, Jan 12: The state government will set up a committee based on the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) to address issues as well as to reclaim the state’s rights as according to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said IGC was formed when Sarawak together with Sabah and Singapore joined the formation of Malaysia in 1963 to ensure the rights of these states were safeguarded.

He said IGC should have met 10 years after the formation but it did not because its chairman at the time Tun Ismail Abdul Rahman died in 1973.

“Our former Chief Minister Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud was a member of IGC before, but the committee never met since. Therefore now we want to discuss (MA63) based on the parameters of that committee. The committee will be headed by my three deputy chief ministers (Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, Tan Sri James Masing and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan).

“We have passed the motion (to set up the committee) and within this few months a technical committee, to be headed by our Attorney General (Talat Mahmood Abdul Rashid) will discuss the parameters for the main committee to work on.

“We are also still waiting for the Federal side to send in its representatives to be part of the panel,” he told reporters after chairing the state Barisan Nasional (BN) meeting at Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) headquarters in Bako, Petra Jaya here earlier today.

Abang Johari said the technical committee will advise the main committee on higher level policies concerning the state’s constitutional rights such as territorial waters.

He said there was no talk of cessation as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was willing to listen to the state government with regards to MA63.

“Within the general policy and agreement within the context of MA63, there are certain rights that we should have that seems to have been eroded; we don’t blame anybody. We just want to take them back within the parameters of our constitutional rights,” Abang Johari emphasised. — DayakDaily