Sarawak’s rights: Vital to negotiate in the right context, Sharifah Hasidah says

Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali

KUCHING, Sept 11: Sarawak’s negotiation with the federal government for greater autonomy must not be misinterpreted as seeking for cessation, said Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Sharifah Hasidah Syed Aman Ghazali.

“This fight for our rights must be done within the context of Malaysia and the MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963),” Sharifah Hasidah told DayakDaily here today.

She revealed that the state government had set a timeframe for its rights under MA63 to be reinstated and that the ongoing negotiation with Putrajaya must be done in the spirit of goodwill and not through provocation.

Sharifah Hasidah was commentating on former Batu Lintang assemblyman Voon Lee Shan’s recent remarks that Sarawak would not face any security threat if it were to seek independence from Malaysia.

Using an analogy between a husband and a wife, the Semariang lawmaker said during any argument, both of them must not jump to conclusion to file for a divorce. Instead, they must talk things out to save the marriage.

“Likewise, it’s crucial for both Sarawak and the federal government to sit down and negotiate for our greater autonomy under the MA63, instead of seeking cessation,” she said.

On the intention of several lawyers to sue the federal government by the end of the year over the same matter, Sharifah Hasidah said it was the right of the individuals concerned.

“It’s their private business and right to take any form of legal action. The government is not going to interfere with citizens exercising their legal rights,” she said.

Recently, former Padungan assemblyman Dominique Ng disclosed that he and six other lawyers would sue the federal government before the end of the year in an attempt to reclaim Sarawak’s rights as enshrined under MA63.

On a related matter, Sharifah Hasidah disclosed that currently negotiations between Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) and Petronas was ongoing, adding it must be carried out professionally.

“Like any negotiation, this will take a bit of time. And these negotiations must not be politicised in order to obtain the best possible outcome for the state.

“The state government will ensure our rights are fully protected, and we will never compromise on our rights. Legal action is one of the many options we can take to fight for our rights. As of now, we are in negotiations. Let the negotiations takes its course,” she added. — DayakDaily