By Nancy Nais
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20: All documents that originated from Sarawak before Malaysia Day are no longer in the custody of the state government, said Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relationship and Project Monitoring Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali.
After Sarawak gained her independence from the British and through the formation of Malaysia, Hasidah said the documents, which is termed `Migrated Archives’, were “declassified” by the United Kingdom government and stored in the British National Archives.
Speaking at the Lan Berambeh Anak Sarawak 2018 event here today, Hasidah explained about her trip to London last year together with seven other appointed state lawyers on retrieving copies of important documents related to Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
The Lan Berambeh event is mainly on developments and updates that the state government is currently doing. It was held at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) and attended by more than 7,000 Sarawakians who are either working or studying in West Malaysia.
“Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg instructed me to lead a mission to London to understand the historical facts relevant to the constitutional issues encompassed in the ongoing devolution of power processes.
“The British did not leave a single document or copies for the state to keep. So, that was the main purpose of the trip,” Hasidah said, squashing rumours on the social media that the trip was all about her going shopping and sightseeing at the expense of taxpayer’s monies.
The team managed to retrieve documents pertaining to the formation of Malaysia, including minutes of meetings of the Inter-governmental Committee (IGC) leading to the publication of the IGC Report and telegrams. They brought certified copies back to Sarawak.
The possession of these important documents, particularly those in relation to the grant of oil mining concessions, revenue and financial matters, control of shipping and marine fisheries in Sarawak waters, administration of education, labour and public health were also brought back.
“As we were viewing the documents, we could feel the spirit of our forefathers before forming Malaysia and how important it was for them that our rights must be protected.
“Without these supporting documents and evidence, it is impossible for us to negotiate with the federal government under Pakatan Harapan for the devolution of power,” she highlighted.
Explaining to the crowd on the devolution of power, Hasidah said Sarawak was only demanding for more power as enshrined in MA63, instead of being totally controlled by the federal government.
“There are two phases on this devolution of power. Under the first phase — administration devolution — former de facto Law Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri and her team fought for years. One of them is that any decision made by the federal government be consulted with the state government before it is implemented. This is our right because when we signed the MA63, we signed as an equal partner,” she said.
She added that the state government had entered phase two of the negotiation, which involves constitutional legal and financial negotiations. — DayakDaily