SPA supports call to form committee based on IGC to restore Sarawak’s equal status

Hii Chin Loung

KUCHING, Oct 22: The Sarawak Patriot Association (SPA) supports the state government’s call to have a committee modelled on the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) to facilitate the restoration of Sarawak and Sabah as equal partners under Malaysia Agreement 1963.

“The significance of the IGC cannot be overstated said its secretary David Hii Chin Loung

Hii noted that historically, the IGC was established in which the British Malayan, North Borneo (as Sabah was then known as) and Sarawak governments was represented and its task was to work out constitutional arrangements including safeguards for the special interests of North Borneo and Sarawak. This included such matters as religious freedom, education, representation in the Federal Parliament, the position of the indigenous races, control of immigration, citizenship and the State Constitutions.

“We are of the view that the true spirit of the IGC must be adhered to and carried out, in forming the MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963) committee to discuss and to restore the equal partnership rights of Sabah and Sarawak, he said.

Hii also drew attention to the establishment of the Cobbold Commission which led to the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

He said the purpose of the Commission of Enquiry was to determine whether the people of Sabah and Sarawak supported the proposal to form the Federation of Malaysia.

“We believe that another Commission should be formed for the best interests of the people of Sabah and Sarawak. The purpose of the Commission would be to enquire with the people of Sabah and Sarawak any matters of public interest to be raised to the MA63 Committee and their expectations for the MA63 Committee.

“The findings and the report of the commission will basically be the voice of the people. The voice of the people must be heard as there would be no country without its citizens.”

Hii said that SPA also proposed that the commission shall comprise of 15 members, where five will be from Peninsular Malaysia, five from Sarawak and the remaining five from Sabah. — DayakDaily