Special Cabinet Committee holds first meeting in Putrajaya

Abang Johari (seated sixth from left) and Baru (seated third from right) in a group photo with other members of the MA63 Special Cabinet Committee Meeting at Putrajaya today (Dec 17, 2018). Dr Mahathir is seated centre.

PUTRAJAYA, Dec 17: The Special Cabinet Committee Meeting (Pemandu) to review the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) was held for the first time here today, chaired by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and his Sabah counterpart, Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Shafie Apdal, were among those at this historic event.

The main purpose of reviewing the Malaysia Agreement 1963 is to restore the status of Sarawak and Sabah as partners in Malaysia.

According to a press release from de facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong, the meeting also set a solid foundation for strengthening ties between the three regions.

The Committee will propose to the federal government on matters pertaining to the exercise of the rights and autonomy of Sabah and Sarawak.

“This is in line with the provisions of the Federal Constitution, MA63 as well as the terms set in Chapter 3, Annexes A and B of the Inter-Governmental Committee Report, 1962,” said Liew.

Federal ministers who were present included Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Azmin Ali, Works Minister Baru Bian, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Transport Minister Anthony Loke, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking and Liew.

From Sarawak, apart from Abang Johari, there were Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Assistant Minister Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali and Deputy Speaker Datuk Gerawat Gala.

For Sabah, apart from Shafie, were Sabah State Attorney Datuk Zaleha Rose Pandin and former Sabah Chief Attorney Datuk Stephen Foo.

Chief Justice for Sabah and Sarawak David Wong, Attorney-General Tommy Thomas and Professor Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi were also present.

Liew said before the meeting, the Legal Affairs Division under the Prime Minister’s Department had organised a series of meetings with Sarawak and Sabah, the Attorney General’s Chamber, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Public Service Department this year.

The meetings were for initial approval on the list of issues and claims to be sought by the Sabah and Sarawak governments in relation to the Malaysia Agreement 1963. — DayakDaily