By Wilfred Pilo
KUCHING, Nov 6: The Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) today approved a ministerial motion to form a Consultative Committee after it was debated by 31 lawmakers. The Committee is to advise the chief minister — who is a member of the Steering Committee to discuss the Malaysia Agreement (MA63) — on the interests, rights and position of the state as enshrined in the MA63.
Asajaya assemblyman Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah tabled the motion, and it was seconded by Semop assemblyman Abdullah Saidol.
In tabling the motion, Abdul Karim told the august House that on Sept 5 this year, the Federal Cabinet had decided to form a Steering Committee to review the implementation of the MA63. The committee is to be chaired by the Prime Minister and comprises representatives from the Federal Government, Sabah and Sarawak.
Abdul Karim emphasised that the subject matter under the purview of the Steering Committee was of immense importance to safeguarding the special rights and position of Sarawak as agreed under the MA63.
He highlighted that the special interests and aspirations of the people of Sarawak ought to be “firmly advanced, articulated and impressed upon” the Steering Committee.
Abdul Karim said that due to the lopsided composition of the Steering Committee, the chief minister had written to the prime minister to request for a review of the composition.
“It was suggested that something akin to the structure of the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) be used as a model to ensure that the Steering Committee be supportive of the MA63 agreement,” he said.
Abdul Karim proposed that the Consultative Committee be headed by DUN Speaker Datuk Amar Mohammad Asfia Awang Nassar as the chairman and the committee members will be himself from GPS-PBB, Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh (UPP), Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali (GPS-PBB), Abdullah Saidol (GPS-PBB), Datuk Snowdan Lawan (GPS-PRS), Datuk Idris Buang (GPS-PBB), Datuk Sebastian Ting (GPS-SUPP), Dato Henry Harry Jinep (GPS-PBB), See Chee How (PH-PKR) and Irene Chang (PH-DAP).
He further proposed that the tenure of the committee be for a period up to the conclusion of the terms of work of the Steering Committee or until this august House otherwise decides.
Meanwhile, Asfia proposed that Datuk Gerawat Gala (GPS-PBB) be also included in the committee.
In his debate in support of the motion, Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) chief Chong Chieng Jen suggested that Tanjong Batu assemblyman Chiew Chiu Sing (PH-DAP) and Krian assemblyman Ali Biju (PH-PKR) be included in the Consultative Committee as they are very senior members of the state opposition parties. — DayakDaily