Dr M should not chair Special Cabinet Committee — Masing

Part of the MA63 document, showing equal representation of all entities involved in the signing of the agreement.

– by Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Oct 14: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing opined that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would not be a fair arbitrator of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) discussion.

“There is a conflict of interest. Dr Mahathir is part of the ‘breacher’ of MA63. How could he be the arbitrator or chairman of a discussion on MA63?

“We should ask the United Kingdom (UK) to chair the Steering Committee on MA63,” he said in a statement today.

To Masing, even the composition of the MA63 committee was lopsided, with representatives from Peninsular Malaysia dominating the committee. In the original MA63 committee, Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak each had five representatives, while the UK sent three.

Masing said the steering committee with Dr Mahathir as the chairman and with more representation from Peninsular Malaysia was a sign of bullying.

“Dr Mahathir’s new steering committee is biased. Bullying of Sarawak and Sabah by Semananjung (Malaysia) never ceases, it appears. Enough is enough,” said Masing, who is also Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president.

In a recent announcement, de facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong said the chairman of the steering committee is Dr Mahathir. Its members include Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and his Sabah counterpart, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.

Federal ministers in the committee included Liew, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Works Minister Baru Bian, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking, Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook,

From the judiciary, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk David Wong Dak Wah, Attorney-General Tommy Thomas, Sabah Attorney-General Zaleha Rose Pandi and Sarawak Attorney-General Datuk Talat Mahmood Abdul Rashid are in the list.

Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Bakar also sits in the committee, while Universiti Malaya Professor Emeritus of Law Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi is the only representative from the academia. — DayakDaily