Sharifah Hasidah says based on IGC report Sarawak and Sabah can get back their rights through negotiation
KUCHING: Returning the status of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners with Peninsular Malaysia will not be a big issue if the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government is serious and sincere, says Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali.
She believes that getting two-thirds majority in Parliament to amend the laws can be done.
“I am sure Sabah and Sarawak fully support and Pakatan Harapan elected representative will abide with the prime minister’s decision under the whip system, if the PM says vote, they will vote,” she said.
Sharifah Hasidah also stressed that the federal government can always give back the rights of the two regions through talks and negotiations.
“They can just give back the rights based on the Inter Governmental Committee (ICG) Report 1962 findings.
“The IGC report is very clear. It has to be read with the Federal Constitution. That cannot be simply ignored, the terms and conditions, it can be done without going through parliamentary amendment. They can, if they want to,” she said.
She also questioned the move to conduct a study, again.
“We have formed a team, we went to London, the Malaysia Agreement is there, it has to be recognised, Sabah and Sarawak’s rights must be recognised, what further study do you want?” she asked.
However, she is not ruling out it could be an excuse for the PH government not to restore the status of Sabah and Sarawak.
Sharifah Hasidah insisted that is why Sarawak will enforce Oil and Mining Ordinance (OMO) 1958 regardless whether the federal government is restoring Sabah and Sarawak’s rights.
“This is an Ordinance that establishes our rights to oil and gas, that is why it is important if we continue to enforce our licensing rights via OMO.”
Sharifah Hasidah was commenting on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad’s announcement that the New Malaysia and the Pakatan government are aware of this and will restore the status of equal partners to Sabah and Sarawak, during the Malaysia Day celebration at Padang Merdeka, Kota Kinabalu recently.
Dr Mahathir said the restoration of the status as outlined in the MA63 would provide a solid foundation to strengthen the relationship between Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.