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By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Nov 14: It is now in the hands of Sarawak’s Consultative Committee chairman Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar to call for a meeting on the next course of action to be taken by the state to review the implementation of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), said Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali.
“Let the Speaker, who is also the chairman, call for a meeting. The members are approved as contained in the Motion (tabled by Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah) at the DUN,” Hasidah told reporters after the State Legislative Assembly sitting adjourned sine die today.
She was commenting on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s winding-up speech, where he had expressed strong reservations on the composition of the Steering Committee.
“The membership of the Steering Committee ought to reflect or be similar to the composition of the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC), whose recommendations formed the basis of the MA63. I trust the Federal Government would heed our strong reservations to the composition of the Steering Committee.
“It should be reconstituted as an Inter-Governmental Committee comprising of representatives of the governments of the Federation and of Sabah and Sarawak.
“Indeed, it was such an Inter-Governmental Committee that made the recommendations to provide for constitutional safeguards for the special interests and status for Sarawak and Sabah, and these recommendations underpinned the terms and spirit of the Malaysia Agreement to give birth to our nation,” he said.
The Consultative Committee comprises Asfia, Abdul Karim, Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce and Second Finance Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh, Sharifah Hasidah, Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Corporate Affairs) Abdullah Saidol, Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan Lawan, Dato Idris Buang (PBB-Muara Tuang), Dato Sebastian Ting (SUPP-Piasau), Dato Henry Harry Jinep (PDP-Tasik Biru), See Chee How (PKR-Batu Lintang) and Irene Chang (DAP-Bukit Assek).
The Consultative Committee was proposed as a response to the formation of the MA63 Steering Committee on Sept 5 chaired by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, which was described as being lopsided because it had only three representatives from Sarawak. — DayakDaily