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KUCHING, Dec 17: Sarawak and Sabah should now pursue to establish their own judicial commission as it is one of the promises under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
De facto Law Minister Dato Sri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar pointed out that the Sarawak and Sabah governments, via the Governors, should have the authority to appoint the judicial commission, unlike other states in Peninsular Malaysia.
“What we should be demanding now is to have our own judicial commission, the right to appoint a Judicial Commissioner and pursue many more matters in the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report.
“We still do not have (a judicial commission) now, despite being one of the promises under the Agreement,” he said in a statement issued today.
He added that the focus should not be solely on equal status, simply because Sarawak and Sabah had already been given special status upon the formation of Malaysia back in 1963.
“That is why we have control over our immigration borders, our natural resources including oil and gas, forest and land and all things found under the subsoil of Sabah and Sarawak,” he added.
He highlighted this in raising the significance of the amendments related to MA63 to the Federal Constitution, which was unanimously passed in Parliament on Dec 14. He described it as a significant and historic victory for the people in Sarawak and Sabah.
For the first time since Malaysia was formed in 1963, he said the MA63 treaty had been included in the Federal Constitution to become the real Malaysia in the context of the three agreements ― Federal Agreement 1948, Federal Agreement 1957 and the MA63.
With MA63 now bound to the Federal Constitution, Wan Junaidi, who is also Santubong MP, stressed that both Sarawak and Sabah governments can now pursue the promises and agreements made in 1963 in detail and spell out in the IGC report, which is the in-depth study of the Cobbold Commission Report on the demands of Sarawak and Sabah.
“The federal government can no longer say the demands from Sabah and Sarawak are not in the Constitution or in the law of Malaysia because it is already in the Federal Constitution. The amendments would enable us to fight for more rights to be returned to Sabah and Sarawak.
“This is just the first step. Then, of course, we will be looking into more amendments, moving forward,” he added.
While he admitted that some of the privileges and rights had been eroded over the years, Wan Junaidi emphasised that now with the amendments, Sarawak and Sabah can focus on reclaiming it.
“I must admit that this is not an easy matter to digest, especially to laymen. And because of that, I would like to implore politicians not to exploit this issue to cause confusion further and sow feelings of anger and dissatisfaction among the rakyat towards the ruling government,” he urged. — DayakDaily