Evidence on state’s rights recovered through UK trip will be publicly available

Sarawak Legislative Assembly Sitting, November 2017

KUCHING, Nov 9: Documentary evidence kept in the British National Archives which support the state’s legal and constitutional position on the state’s rights will be made available to the public, assures Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Jemut Masing.

The documentary evidence was the result of the London research mission led by Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali in July this year.

He said these documents, which are substantial in number, are now being reproduced by the British National Archives, for the state government in digitized as well as in photocopy forms.

“Once work on these documents are completed and duly authenticated, they will be made available to the public,” Masing told the August House while seconding the motion to set up a high level task force to negotiate with the Federal Government on the state’s rights.

He said over the years and due to many happenings since 1963, the constitutional safeguards and the special position and interests of Sarawak were not adhered to, in education, finance, oil and gas and the control of the rich mineral resources in the seabed and subsoil in the Continental Shelf, and so on.

Hence, a motion was tabled by Masing in 2015 to give a mandate to the state government to take all measures and actions to safeguard the state’s rights and interests by getting Putrajaya to fully abide by the Malaysia Agreement.

“Since my motion was passed, the state government has been actively involved in discussions with the federal government through various committees set up by the federal cabinet to resolve the issues. Several major issues remain unresolved,” he added.

Stressing on the state government’s wish to resolve these critical issues amicably, Masing said the negotiations with Putrajaya would not undermine the basic fundamentals of the Federation of Malaysia and it would not affect the good relationship between the state government and the national leadership. — Dayak Daily