Steering Committee on MA63 lopsided, create another model — Abang Jo

Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg

By Lianne Cheng

Kuala Lumpur, Oct 20: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg today commented that the Steering Committee to review and streamline the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) should be of equal number, similar to the Inter-Governmental Committee Report.

He described the representation in the Steering Committee as lopsided, adding that Sarawak would easily be voted out if the issues required voting. Furthermore, the MA63 is a “very serious issue”.

“We have suggested to them (federal government) that we would like to have another model, another arrangement based on the Inter-Governmental Committee Report.

“The federal government has recognised that we are a partner in the formation of Malaysia. Therefore, what they should do is we have representatives from the state government of Sarawak and representatives from the state government of Sabah and representatives from the federal government.

“It must be of equal number. Then it can deliberate issues under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63). Otherwise, it is lopsided,” he told the press after the `TanyakAbgJo’ session at `Lan Berambeh Anak Sarawak 2018’ here today.

More than 7,000 Sarawakians flooded Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre for this annual event.

Recently, de facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong announced that the chairman of the Steering Committee would be Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, while Abang Johari and Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal would be among its members.

Other federal ministers in the committee are Liew, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Works Minister Baru Bian, International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking, Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook,

From the judiciary, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk David Wong Dak Wah, Attorney-General Tommy Thomas, Sabah Attorney-General Zaleha Rose Pandi and Sarawak Attorney-General Datuk Talat Mahmood Abdul Rashid are also in the list.

From civil servants, Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Bakar also sits in the committee, while Universiti Malaya Professor of Law Prof Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi is the only representative from the academic.

From the list, it showed that the Pakatan Harapan controlled federal government representation grossly outnumbered that of Sarawak and Sabah. — DayakDaily