STAR chief `soo disappointed’ with Special Cabinet Committee line-up

Lina Soo

KUCHING, Oct 12: The State Reform Party (STAR) is disappointed with the composition of the Special Cabinet Committee that was set up to amend Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution and to review the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) because many of the signatories were not included in the committee.

STAR president Lina Soo said the MA63 was signed not only between Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah but also Singapore and the British government at the time.

“A review or revisit of an international treaty signed by five nations – Britain, Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah – is meaningless and non-effective without the participation of all signatories, as the 16 members of the committee headed by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad have no competent jurisdiction to deal with an international treaty registered with the United Nations,” she opined in a statement today.

Soo pointed out that Dr Mahathir was a federal minister and prime minister for more than 30 years, which was more than half of the lifetime of the Federation of Malaysia, and it was during his tenure that many of the breaches of the treaty occurred.

She also criticized the committee as composed of politicians from selected political parties and some civil servants who owed their positions to the current administration.

In addition, Sarawak, which contributes the bulk of oil and gas to Petronas and the federal coffers, has only three members out of 16 in the committee to review an international agreement, where the lead signatory nations are absent in the first place.

The committee, she claimed, looked like a cover-up committee to hoodwink and lull Sarawakians into accepting breaches of MA63, which have exploited Sarawakians for so long.

“Every day is a great economic loss to Sarawak, where federal laws that are unconstitutional to Sarawak have continually been used to plunder Sarawak’s oil and gas.

“Without the participation of the British government, it is just like a bad joke, akin to agreeing to a bunch of monkeys to manage a banana farm,” Soo said.

Referring to Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal’s statement yesterday to press for 20 per cent of oil royalty based on gross profit, Soo commented that it was a daft request as no oil-producing landowners in the world would ever ask for a royalty based upon gross profits.

She explained that it was a fact that oil producing landowners only negotiate for a royalty based upon production, never on profit after costs, dividends and taxes, exclaiming that 20 per cent of zero profit is still zero. — DayakDaily