KUCHING, July 20: The federal government has approved the setting up of a special committee to look into restoring the rights of Sarawak and Sabah’s based on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii, in a statement today, said he had received an affirmative answer from de facto Law Minister Liew Vui Keong after the recent Cabinet meeting. Dr Yii had posed a parliamentary question to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on this committee, as it was one of Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) 100-day promises.
“The committee has been tasked to produce a detailed report on the matter within six months from the date it is set up. The report will be presented to the government,” said Dr Yii.
The committee would study and then propose corrective measures in relation to the status of the MA63 in the context of the current legislation, efforts to improve the people’s understanding towards the MA63 through the education system, implementation of the concept of federalism across the three territories — Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak, and the rights of Sabah and Sarawak to natural resources as well as oil and gas.
It would also touch on administrative matters that could be delegated to the states, the amount of allocation that is within the rights of Sabah and Sarawak, and amendment to Article 1 of the Federal Constitution.
Dr Yii explained that once the report was approved by the cabinet, the special committee would also be given the responsibility to monitor the implementation of the proposals contained in the report.
This would be an important step in regaining Sarawak’s rights under MA63 and a sign that the new federal government would not only have fulfilled another one of its 100-day promises but also showed sincerity and political will in recognising Sarawak’s special status and rights under the framework of MA63, he opined.
“What is also important to point out is that there is greater transparency in the matter. There is a timeframe set for this report to be submitted, unlike the previous administration where many public statements were made to the people but no timeframe was set by the then Barisan Nasional (BN) government.
“I will continue to follow up and monitor on this matter as well to make sure the interest of Sarawak is protected,” he assured. — DayakDaily