MA63 steering committee: Sabah, Sarawak urged not to participate if gestures are insincere

Tan Sri Dr James Masing

– by Karen Bong

KUCHING, Oct 11: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing opined that the composition of the Steering Committee clearly demonstrated that Malaya’s sincerity to make Sarawak and Sabah as equal partners in the federation is questionable.

“Out of 16 members of the Steering Committee to discuss on MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963), 12 are from Malaya while only four are from Sarawak and Sabah. Even though the two eastern states are two of the three existing signatories to the Malaysia Agreement,” he said in a statement today.

“From the set up of the committee, Sarawak and Sabah are being dwarfed with regards to the MA63 discussion. Maybe they want to put Sarawak and Sabah at a numerical disadvantage and muffle our voices in the discussion.”

Masing was commenting on the announcement made by de-facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong on the composition of the Special Cabinet Committee for the MA63, in which Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and Works Minister Baru Bian are among the members. Sabah will be represented by Sabah Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal and Liew.

The committee, which is formed to review the status of Sabah and Sarawak in the Federation of Malaysia, will be led by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Looking at the line-up, Masing said the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government might not want to allow Sarawak and Sabah to steer the discussion in the direction of Sarawak and Sabah’s favour.

“Sarawak and Sabah representatives should be aware of this and keep our eyes open. Should the direction of discussion be at our disadvantage, and because we are outnumbered, we should just opt not to participate. Why should we, if Malaya is not sincere?” he asked. — DayakDaily