Premier: Sarawak govt will not compromise its push to restore rights outlined in MA63, IGC Report

Lee (sixth from left) with Chief Justice of Malaysia Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat (on Lee's left) and others during the gala dinner on Friday.

MIRI, Jan 14: Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg reiterated that the Sarawak government will not compromise the rights as laid out in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) Agreement and the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report.

He added that the State government will advance all recommendations in the IGC Report.

“During the Opening of Legal Year (OLY 2023) in Miri on Friday morning and the speech by the President of Advocates of Association Miri Gurvir Singh Sandhu, I take note that the Association is particularly concerned with certain areas which are related to the judiciary and representation within the appellate court,” he said during OLY 2023 gala dinner held at a leading hotel here last night.

Abang Johari’s text of speech was read out by Minister of Transport Sarawak Datuk Sri Lee Kim Shin.

“Please rest assured that the Sarawak government also shares such views on adopting or remedying the areas of concern in relation to the judiciary in Sarawak.

“I’m sure that all of us are fully aware with what MA63 entails, including what each region under the MA63 agreement is entitled to, so I will not elaborate further on this. However, I will reiterate that it is the Sarawak government’s stand that we are fully entitled to enforce and safeguard the rights and interests of Sarawak in accordance to the terms of MA63,” he stressed.

He went on to say that Sarawak has succeeded in a number of areas in restoring its rights that have been taken away or eroded.

“There are still some outstanding issues pertaining to MA63 which I have raised with our new Prime Minister Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim and he has assured me that he will resolve them,” he said.

Abang Johari disclosed that Sarawak, has come to a strong position to further advance its rights under MA63.

“Sarawak government is aware that certain comments have been made in the recent past suggesting that we should compromise on its benefits under the MA63,….I wish reiterate here that we will not make any decision that will compromise the Sarawak’s privileges and interest in the Federation of Malaysia,” he stated.

“Lest we forget, that by virtue of the MA63, Sarawak is a partner in the Federation of Malaysia…what is important will be the empowerment of devolution of power to Sarawak and it is not difficult to implement them…the bureucratic processes could be simplified,” he told some 670 of attendees of the event whom comprising of legal fraternity from all over West Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.

Among those present were Chief Justice of Malaysia Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, former Chief Justice of Malaysia and member of Judicial Appointments Commission Tun Mohd Raus Sharif, the Acting president of the Court of Appeal and the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim. — DayakDaily