KUCHING, Feb 10: Putrajaya will set up a high level committee to negotiate with its Sarawak counterpart to review the Malaysian Agreement 1963 (MA63)
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak made this announcement today. The federal committee will discuss the return of the state’s rights under the MA63, and jointly work together with the state’s own technical committee which is being led by state Attorney-General Datuk Talat Mahmood Abdul Rashid and Sarawak’s three deputy chief ministers.
“I assured (Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi) Abang Johari (Tun Openg) not to worry. He set up a technical committee for the state to review the MA63. We (federal) will also establish a high level committee to work together with Sarawak.
“We (will) negotiate nicely and we can achieve amicable solutions. That’s what we in Barisan Nasional (BN) do. There are also many Sarawakian ministers in the federal cabinet,” he told some 2,000 delegates during the opening of the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Convention at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (Kuching) today.
He said there was no reason for the federal government to take Sarawak’s rights in this day and age as it would be important that he receives sincere support from Sarawak.
“I have promised, MA63, if we have taken Sarawak’s rights by design or inadvertently, I will return it back. We do not need people’s rights. We are one family. What is important is we remain within the BN family,” he said.
On that note, Najib also gave his assurance that Putrajaya will also discuss with the state on its rights over its oil and gas royalties.
“As long as PBB performs well in the coming general election, I will accommodate that request to discuss your oil and gas rights,” he said.
Earlier, Abang Johari hinted to Najib that PBB will continue to support Najib and ensure an excellent track record in the coming general election as long as Putrajaya was willing to accommodate its request to negotiate Sarawak’s oil and gas royalties and rights.
He said, Najib, being the most accomodating and caring Prime Minister, had agreed to review the MA63 and return the state’s rights and power under the Agreement, and was confident that with continued support, the PM would also agree to discuss the state’s oil and gas rights.
“During our PBB branch meetings the past several weeks, delegates all agreed to request for Najib to review the MA63. I told them to be patient. After all, the agreement was signed by my father (Tun Abang Openg Abang Shapiee) on behalf of the state and Najib’s father (Tun Abdul Razak Hussein) on behalf of the federal government.
“So if our fathers signed the agreement, then we their sons must follow up. I assured Najib that Sarawak will continue to be in Malaysia and we will continue to support you (Najib), as long as our rights are restored as per MA63,” said Abang Johari, who is also PBB president.
On another note, Abang Johari also urged BN component parties’ splinter parties to return to their original parties because staying united would be crucial to face the coming general election.
“Come back as one lah! Become one as you were before. We must be united to be able to strengthen Sarawak.
“If the children are good, well behaved and achieve good results in his examinations, the father will be happy and will reward the children. So if we all are the good and achieving children, Najib the father will be more than willing to reward us with anything we request,” he said. — DayakDaily