Legal team to sue federal govt to reclaim Sarawak’s rights next year

Dominique Ng

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By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Dec 18: Former Padungan assemblyman Dominique Ng says the legal team that he has assembled to reclaim Sarawak’s rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) will bring the case to court next year.

He said the team has 12 lawyers, thus far.

The legal team will fight for all the rights of Sarawak as enshrined under the MA63, especially rights over oil and gas.

“It may seem that we are doing nothing, but we are actually doing something. Presently, there are 12 lawyers who have pledged to help, and we are in the midst of drafting the case.

“We initially wanted to bring the case to court this year, but then it was delayed because there was the announcement of the setting up of a Special Cabinet Committee for the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

“We were waiting to see if something decisive may transpire from it and whether it is still necessary for us to intervene,” Ng told DayakDaily.

He said with the apparent lack of positive results from the first meeting of the Committee yesterday, the pro bono legal team to fight for Sarawak’s rights would proceed with what it is doing.

“It seems that there is a need to do so after all, and we shall file our case against Putrajaya next year,” he said.

On the question of locus standi of the legal team, Ng said there would be five Sarawakians coming forward to represent the whole of Sarawak to ask for the rights back.

“There will be several Sarawakians from different parts of Sarawak who will stand up to be the plaintiffs and Putrajaya will be the defendant,” Ng explained.

Ng and former Batu Lintang assemblyman Voon Lee Shan had in June this year announced the formation of a legal team that will fight on behalf of Sarawakians to regain the state’s rights over its oil and gas.

In September this year, Ng said the legal team, which then consisting of seven lawyers, would bring the case to Putrajaya by the end of this year.

In October this year, de facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong announced the formation of the Special Cabinet Committee, whose purpose is to review the MA63 to restore the status of Sarawak and Sabah as equal partners in Malaysia.

The Sarawak government, however, protested against the lopsided representation, where out of the 16 members in the Committee, 12 were from Peninsular Malaysia and four each from Sarawak and Sabah.

Sarawak’s objection was heeded and the first Committee meeting was held in Putrajaya yesterday morning. — DayakDaily