Sarawak to exercise rights to the fullest after restoration of status

Abang Johari delivering his speech.

KUCHING, March 9: Sarawak will exercise its rights to the fullest in accordance with the Federal Constitution once its status as equal partners in the Malaysian federation is fully restored.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg confirmed that Sarawak was another step closer to having its demands met in accordance to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) following the Special Cabinet Committee (Steering Committee) meeting held earlier this week.

Among those included the right to impose Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO) 1958 as per Federal Constitution Schedule 9 and 10.

“So far so good. We managed to get something that we want, something that they could not decide and had to be referred to the technical committee.

“Whatever grievances that we have, can now be settled between us and the federal government but the important thing is that Sarawak must must be run by Sarawakians,” he said at the Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) dinner and opening of its triennial general meeting here on Saturday.

With this understanding (with Putrajaya), Abang Johari believed that Sarawak would have a bright future, especially with the state government having settled its revenue stream from the five per cent sales tax over oil and gas products.

Minister of Law in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong was reported as saying today that the Cabinet had agreed to amend Article 1 (2) of the Federal Constitution to restore the status of Sarawak and Sabah as equal partners with Peninsular Malaysia.

The decision to amend the Constitution was reached at the Cabinet meeting last Wednesday and this was seen as a major step towards the implementation and compliance of MA63.

“The amendment to the Federal Constitution will be tabled at the next Parliament session scheduled to begin on March 11 and it will need two-thirds majority support to be passed.

“The ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) government currently has 135 MPs, including nine from Warisan and one from Upko. To have two-thirds majority support, we need at least 148 MPs.

“But I’m confident that the MPs from Sabah and Sarawak will give their full support to restore Sarawak and Sabah as two separate territories in the Federation of Malaysia,” he told reporters after officiating the “Restoration Justice – An Alternative To Imprisonment” forum in Kota Kinabalu.

Liew said it was only right for the rights of Sarawak and Sabah as stated in the MA63 to be restored, starting with the amendment to the Federal Constitution to return their status as equal partners with the peninsula.

“After the amendment, Sabah and Sarawak will no longer be known as ‘states’. We also have other plans to ensure the rights of Sabah and Sarawak can continue to be protected.

“That is why we are so grateful to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the chief ministers of Sabah and Sarawak for their concern in this matter (returning Sabah and Sarawak’s rights as stated in MA63),” he added. — DayakDaily