State ready, awaits federal reply

The team all set to pursue talks on second phase of power devolution but federal govt yet to appoint its rep  

Abang Johari (left) shakes hands with Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah upon his arrival. Looking on at right is PBB secretary general Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi. — Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING: A special committee set up to proceed with the talk on Sarawak’s second phase of devolution of power from Putrajaya can function only when the federal government has determined its representative.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the special committee comprised the three deputy chief ministers of Sarawak and a representative from Putrajaya.

As of yesterday, he said his administration was still waiting for the federal government to name its representative.

“Now we are going with the second phase of devolution of power that touches on our constitutional rights.

“This is a delicate issue and we must not do it based on emotions. It must be based on facts. We will go for discussions based on all the documents we have and based on facts,” he told a news conference after chairing the first state Barisan Nasional (BN) Supreme Council meeting of the year at Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) headquarters here yesterday.

Abang Johari, who is state BN chairman and PBB president, said the special committee was formed based on the original Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC), which was supposed to review the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) 10 years after the formation of Malaysia.

According to him, that review was supposed to be done years back  and the state government is attending to this unfinished business now.

He stressed that ‘we want to discuss based on the parameter of the committee’ while adding a technical committee headed by the State Attorney-General is also tasked with following up on the matter.

Abang Johari said the technical committee will be looking at the general policies given that ‘there are areas that are to be discussed at a higher level’.

He assured that both the special and technical committees would deliberate policy matters within the context of MA63 and the parameter of Sarawak’s constitutional rights.

Earlier, the chief minister said the meeting touched on issues that would set the state’s development on the right track. He described 2018 as a pivotal year for BN Sarawak and the component parties have to work closely as a strong team.

“And our task is of course to deliver what the people expect of us. We have straightened

what we want to do and it’s our duty to see to it that we achieve developed state status by 2030,” he said.

Abang Johari added that all state BN component parties had agreed upon having a common platform for Sarawak to move forward socially, politically or economically.

Related News: State govt waits for Putrajaya to name rep for special committee

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