KUCHING, Sept 17: Execution is much more important than forming a whole new committee to restore rights of Sabah and Sarawak as enshrined in Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
Bandar Kuching MP Kelvin Yii pointed out that forming a new committee on MA63 was unnecessary when a Special Cabinet Committee formed under Pakatan Harapan (PH) government already existed with a similar structure.
“Yesterday, the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin came all the way to Sarawak to announce the formation of ‘another’ committee to study our lost rights under MA63.
“For me, there was already a Special Cabinet Committee formed under the PH government which consists of both the Chief Ministers of Sabah and Sarawak as well as leaders from both states, legal experts, academicians and activists,” he said in a statement today.
Yii emphasised that from negotiations carried out within the Special Cabinet Committee, 17 out of 21 issues or matters have already been agreed.
“So my question (is) why (the) need to form a whole new committee again. Just finalise the four other things that have yet to be decided and implement the 17 things that have already been agreed,” he asserted.
If the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government was serious about restoring Sarawak and Sabah rights, Yii also questioned why the need to keep the Special Cabinet Committees for MA63 Report under Official Secrets Act (OSA) and not revealing them to the public or even table it in Parliament.
“On top of that, they decided not to form a bi-partisan Parliamentary Select Committee to monitor the implementation of MA63 which was agreed under PH.
“All these are our rights and (would) affect all of us here. We should be allowed to monitor, and to scrutinise what was discussed and agreed and not allow the mistakes of the past where our rights were taken away without consultation with the people,” he emphasised.
These actions, he continued, only showed that the Perikatan government was not serious about returning Sarawak and Sabah rights but clearly an attempt to delay it by giving sweet promises before the elections.
“What they are doing is just stalling the process of restoring the two states’ special rights and a delaying tactic towards realising the devolution of autonomous powers to Sarawak and Sabah,” he added.
Meanwhile, Muhyiddin in his speech at the Malaysia Day 2020 celebration in Sibu, emphasised that a Special Council on MA63 will be set up which he will chair with members comprising of Chief Ministers of Sarawak and Sabah, federal ministers and other members to be appointed according to their suitability, qualifications and areas of expertise.
The Special Council, he said, will discuss issues related to the rights of Sabah and Sarawak as enshrined in the MA63 including Sabah and Sarawak as allies with Peninsular Malaysia, state rights under Article 112 of the Federal Constitution, MA63, Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report, as well as state security and education.
With the Special Council, it is his hope that they will be able to resolve issues that were still pending and at the same time, efforts to develop both states can be continued and enhanced with the close cooperation between the federal and state governments. — DayakDaily