Fight started 6 years ago to reclaim state’s rights, reveals Tanjung Datu rep

Datuk Amar Jamilah Anu

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By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, April 30: Tanjung Datu assemblywoman Datuk Amar Jamilah Anu (GPS-Tanjung Datu) says that the Sarawak government’s fight to regain the state’s rights started in 2013.

She recalled that in that year, there was a meeting in Putrajaya between then de facto Law Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri and her late husband, Pehin Sri Adenan Satem (Tok Nan).

“It was to discuss a roadshow on federalism. After a series of discussions and after an audience with the then Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, it was agreed that the first programme on federalism would be held after February 2014, not known to us, it would be after the late Tok Nan took over the office as Chief Minister in 2014.

“Honourable Speaker, this brief history is very relevant to show that we, with the previous administration, had initiated revisiting the Federal Constitution before Tok Nan was officially appointed as the chief minister and even since then, he had been working with the federal government and also communicating directly with the then Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak),” said Jamilah when debating the Amendment to the Federal Constitution Motion tabled today.

She said Tok Nan’s intention was none other than to restore Sarawak’s status and to reclaim its eroded rights.

“His love for Sarawak was a true cause for him to continuously pursue all that he could to ensure Sarawak’s rights would be upheld and, where necessary, Sarawak’s claims and restoration of our rights (and) including what was owed to us.

“His persistence resulted in the birth of the Devolution of Power Committee at the federal level to deliberate matters pertaining to administration empowerment, encroachment of state’s rights and oil and gas royalty.

“As a result, let me put on record that the administrative empowerment involving 13 provisions were devolved without even having to amend the law. This was announced on Jan 21, 2016,” she pointed out.

On the recent attempt by the federal government to amend Article 1(2), Jamilah held the view that the federal government “had either deliberately or conveniently ignored and forgotten the MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963) and focused solely on the Constitution because they regard the MA63 as merely a historical document without any force of law”.

Contrary to the view of the federal government, she said all right-thinking Sarawakians would never and should never accept the view.

“The Federal Court in Kerutum’s case decided in no uncertain terms that the MA63 is a valid legal document that binds all parties, and the Federal Court, the highest court in the country, is willing to enforce the provisions of MA63,” she said

In view of the legal recognition of the MA63 by the Federal Court, she said the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) MPs insisted that the amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution must be done in pursuant to MA63. — DayakDaily