By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Nov 30: The Sarawak Government’s commitment to claim back its eroded rights will take a holistic approach to ensure that it will not miss anything in relation to its rights as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“We are not agreeable to the composition of the steering committee headed by PM. We will propose an Inter-governmental Committee similar to the committee created at the time of the formation of Malaysia.
“Wherein Sarawak have our own committee, Sabah her own and Peninsular Malaysia their own,” said Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali.
“This is fairer and more appropriate so we can have equal say and strength in our negotiations.
“We will revisit the Malaysia Agreement and will look holistically and fully all the provisions in the MA63 and also the Federal Constitution and to ensure that we will not miss anything in relations to our rights,” she continued.
She added that for the meeting with the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Dec 17, the state will leave it to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to pick his team from the committee members who have been named during the last DUN Sitting.
“It’s up to the Chief Minister as to who among the State’s Consultative committee members who have been selected during the last DUN Sitting to meet with the prime minister for that meeting,” she said.
The initial members of the steering committee to be chaired by Dr Mahathir only name three individuals from Sarawak including Abang Johari.
Hasidah made the statement to rebut critics especially from certain Sarawak Pakatan Harapan leaders who have questioned the sincerity of the state government’s commitment in fighting for its rights under MA63.
Meanwhile, on the new team to represent Sarawak, Hasidah said the prime minister had been duly notified of the composition of the state’s Consultative Committee on MA63 under the chairmanship of DUN Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar, which was formed under Standing Order 89 of the Standing Orders of the DUN Sarawak and Article 24(1) of the Sarawak State Constitution through a motion dated Nov 6.
The 14-member committee included Mohd Asfia, Sharifah Hasidah, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (who tabled the motion), Minister of International Trade and eCommerce Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh, deputy speaker Datuk Gerawat Gala, Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan Lawan and Assistant Minister of Corporate Affairs Abdullah Saidol.
Other members included state lawmakers Datuk Sebastian Ting (Piasau), Datuk Idris Buang (Muara Tuang), Datuk Henry Jinep (Tasik Biru), See Chee How (Batu Lintang), Irene Chang (Bukit Assek), Chiew Chiu Sing (Tanjong Batu) and Ali Biju (Krian).
In a recent press conference, Mohd Asfia disclosed that the committee had also resolved to appoint state Attorney-General Datuk Talat Mahmood Abdul Rashid and state legal counsel Datuk Seri JC Fong as legal advisors. — DayakDaily