Set up Sarawak National Archives, suggests See

See Chee How

KUCHING: Sarawak should set up an archive system that keeps all official records, documents, studies and references that were retrieved and discovered by the state’s legal research mission team.

This would support Sarawak’s position in its discussions with the federal government on devolution of powers and to reinforce and reclaim those constitutional rights which belong to Sarawak, suggested See Chee How (PKR-Batu Lintang) yesterday.

“I would respectfully suggest that we name this Sarawak National Archives or special library after our late Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem, to honour and in remembrance of Tok Nan and his systematic and persistent efforts to orchestrate and push for devolution of powers and autonomy of Sarawak.

“The works have just started, the road is long, to achieve the powers and autonomy that Sarawak deserves, but I am sure that all honourable members in this august House are determined to venture on. It doesn’t matter which side we are on, but we are all Sarawakians first, and we all want the best for this Fairland Sarawak,” he said when debating a ministerial motion on Malaysia Agreement 1963 and matters related thereto.

See said the proposed Sarawak National Archives should record every step of the state’s journey.

“The full disclosure and publication of all the official records, documents, studies and references and documents retrieved by the research mission team will also ensure the empowerment of an informed citizenry in Sarawak, with clear understanding of the terms, intent and spirit of the MA63, wholeheartedly rooted behind this House in the upholding of the constitutional safeguards and special rights accorded to Sarawak by the co-founding fathers of the Federation.

“I must, however, put on record the popular concern that we need to step up the efforts in the negotiation with the federal government, as there is little or no positive outcome being seen or reported in this august House,” he said.

He recalled that Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas had expressed in the motion that “on Dec 7, 2015, this august House passed a motion to mandate the state government to take all necessary measures under Article VIII of the Malaysia Agreement to ensure complete implementation of recommendations contained in the Inter-Governmental Committee Report (IGC Report) intended to safeguard the special interests of Sarawak”.

“That seems like a long time ago. But we are not to forget that this august House had also unanimously passed a motion on May 6, 2014 urging the federal government to increase oil and gas royalty to the state from the present five per cent to 20 per cent.

“This motion seeks to form a high level special task force to negotiate with the federal government to, I quote, ‘resolve all outstanding issues related to the compliance and upholding of the constitutional safeguards and special rights accorded to the state of Sarawak in accordance with the terms, intent and spirit of the Malaysia Agreement, 1963.’ But what is there to assure all Sarawakians outside this august House that there will be progress?” added See.

He thus requested Uggah to enlighten the House what measures had been taken by the state government and to what progress the state had accomplished in asserting its demand for the amendment of the Territorial Sea Act 2012.

“Are we ready to file a motion to seek the Court’s determination on the constitutionality of the Territorial Sea Act 2012, the enactment of which had clearly violated Article 1(4) and Article 2 of the Federal Constitution?

“The assertion of Sarawak’s territorial integrity is the very foundation to our claims for constitutional authorities and rights and hence, the determination on the constitutionality of the Territorial Sea Act 2012 and its amendment must be expedited.

He said Uggah should also clarify the guidelines given to Petronas, requiring them to regulate their activities according to the Sarawak Ordinance, whether the guidelines were given before the disposal of interests in the Production Contracts to foreign countries while Sarawak got nothing.

“I am referring to the Fields SK410B and SK316, on July 21, 2016 and earlier this year. Were they heeding the guidelines issued by our state government?

“Besides, the state government must also clarify what are the ‘recommendations contained in the IGC Report intended to safeguard the special interests of Sarawak’ and those ‘constitutional safeguards and special rights accorded to the State of Sarawak in accordance with the terms, intent and spirit of the Malaysia Agreement, 1963’.

“More importantly, what steps are to be undertaken on what constitutional safeguards and special rights enumerated in the IGC Report?” asserted See.

He also called for necessary amendments to be made to the motion to mandate full disclosure and publication of all the official records, documents, studies and references and document retrieved by the research mission team to empower and lobby all Sarawakians for them to support the state’s efforts to claim the constitutional safeguards and special rights accorded to the state of Sarawak.

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