Igan MP seeks updates on MA63 negotiations

Ahmad Johnie Zawawi

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By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, March 1: Igan MP Ahmad Johnie Zawawi wants updates on the discussions and negotiations over issues relating to Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

He said he hoped the Special Committee for MA63 will continue the discussions and negotiations involving the rights of Sarawak and Sabah until a consensus or compromise can be accepted by all parties.

“We do not demand and ask for more, except for the rights enshrined in the MA63 which have been eroded.

“Thus, I would like to know what are the things that have been finalised as well as what are the issues being and will be resolved? When are these issues expected to be finalised?

“It is hoped that all discussions and negotiations carried out, will be done smoothly,” he said during a debate on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s speech in the Dewan Rakyat in Kuala Lumpur yesterday (Feb 28).

He also requested the federal government to clarify the definition of ‘equal partners’ as it relates to Sarawak, Sabah and the Federation of Malaya.

“So far, the term ‘equal partners’ is not detailed and clearly defined. Therefore, I request the relevant ministry to explain the term and what are the things that need to be done to place Sarawak and Sabah as equal partners?” he questioned.

Ahmad Johnie also lauded the recent passing of Constitution of Sarawak (Amendment) Bill 2022 in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) which aimed to change the title of ‘Sarawak Chief Minister’ to ‘Premier of Sarawak’.

He said the designation of Sarawak’s head of government had to be different compared to titles for the head of government of Malayan states because its status is not equal to states like Melaka or Penang, but equal to the whole of Malaya.

“Therefore, I request the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) to suggest a suitable term for the title ‘Premier of Sarawak’ if the term is confusing. Proposed terms such as ‘Menteri Perdana’ or ‘Menteri Utama’ can be accepted as long as the government officially adopts it,” he added.

He also requested the federal government formally recognise the use of the term ‘Wilayah’ or ‘Territory’ for Sarawak and Sabah to differentiate the status of these two territories from other states in Malaysia despite being termed as ‘The Borneo States’ in the Federal Constitution. — DayakDaily