Unveiling of PN committee to look into Sabah, Sarawak rights expected

Wan Junaidi (left) presenting a grant to a receipient at the ceremony.

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Sept 10: The Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal government will set up a committee to address Sabah and Sarawak’s with a holistic and systematic approach under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), Federal Constitution and the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) report.

To move forward with regards to the negotiation on these rights, Santubong MP Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the new committee will be responsible in overseeing all the rights claimed by the Sabah and Sarawak governments after a Cabinet paper has been presented and approved in the Federal Cabinet yesterday to address the matter.

He said the Sarawak government is focusing on fighting for the rights which yield significant results in terms of financial resources.

“What matters the most is the questions brought up by the Sarawak government with regards to oil and gas (O&G) rights, natural resources rights and the Territorial Sea Act.

“That will bring the results to us.

“The rights under Article 112D as stated in the Federal Constitution.

“This means whatever being discussed at the moment is in accordance with MA63 and Federal Constitution,” he said during a press conference after giving out minor rural project (MRP) grants amounting to RM254,900 to several associations at his Santubong Parliamentary service centre here today.

Wan Junaidi who is Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister was responding to a question about the amendment to Article 1 (2) of the Federal Constitution posed by a reporter.

In replying to the question, he questioned whether amending Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution would give Sabah and Sarawak the status of equal partners with the Federation of Malaya.

He explained that it is a question that nobody can answer and that whatever amendments made to the Federal Constitution will not bring significant changes and benefits in terms of financial resources especially to Sarawak.

Nonetheless, Wan Junaidi said the Sarawak government’s negotiation with the PN government is on the right path with focusing on the rights that will yield results for the state.

He noted that the state government is guided by law experts on the negotiation of Sarawak’s rights with the federal government, adding that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has deep and vast knowledge of the matter.

He added the portfolio of the Sabah and Sarawak Affairs in the Prime Minister’s Department included conducting research and providing the way forward in terms of the negotiation of the rights of Sabah and Sarawak between the states and the federal government.

He cited as an example the Sarawak government’s achievement with regards to the imposition of State Sales Tax (SST) on petroleum products, and other matters include looking into the matter of equal partnership.

Wan Junaidi said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is expected to make an announcement about the committee to address the rights of Sabah and Sarawak to the public soon.

When asked about the name of the committee, Wan Junaidi said there was a name proposed but deferred to Muhyiddin to announce it in the near future. — DayakDaily