MP hopes Special Cabinet Committee will produce intended results

Dr Kelvin Yii

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KUCHING, Dec 18: Democratic Action Party (DAP) Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii hopes to see the amendment of Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to restore the equal partner status of Sabah and Sarawak in the federation as well as a proper revision of the special grants to Sarawak under Article 112(d) of the Federal Constitution.

In a statement today, Dr Yii said he welcomed the announcement of the first meeting of the steering committee of the Special Cabinet Committee for the Malaysia Agreement 1963 chaired by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and attended by both Chief Ministers of Sarawak (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) and Sabah (Datuk Seri Panglima Shafie Apdal) yesterday as part of the federal government’s efforts to restore Sabah and Sarawak’s status as equal partners in Malaysia.

“I welcome these committees, especially the fact that it involves different minds from different fields that will examine and identify the necessary legal rectifications needed to restore our rights under the Malaysian Agreement 1963 (MA63).

“This is for me the main difference compared to the Committee under the previous Barisan Nasional government, where discussions were mainly done behind closed doors among politicians from only one political side,” he said.

Dr Yii noted that there were reservations expressed by the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government on the composition of the committee. But based on his recent conversation with de facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong, decisions would be made based on consensus rather than majority vote.

“He (Liew) has given assurance that any decision made in the committee will be based on consensus rather than a majority vote. This assurance was also communicated to Chief Minister Abang Johari before. It, thus, allays the concerns that their voices may be drowned out.

“On top of that, I also welcome the passing of the motion to add additional members from Sabah and Sarawak to the steering committee to give more representation as well as input from different specialists, namely Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Wilfred Madius Tangau, Deputy Speaker of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Datuk Gerawat Gala, Sarawak Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman, Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen and former Sabah state Attorney-General Stephen Foo,” he said.

Dr Yii said he had personally raised up the issue in Parliament multiple times, not just because this was part of the Pakatan Harapan manifesto and promise but because it is also important for the people in Sabah and Sarawak, who were short-changed and their rights taken away during the reign of the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

“I do hope that the committee and also the cabinet will act on the recommendations after the set timeframe and not just produce a report that is nice to see or nice to read but no tangible and proactive steps to address all the necessary wrongs,” he said. — DayakDaily