KUCHING: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii welcomes the announcement made by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong on the composition of the Special Cabinet Committee for Malaysia Agreement (MA63).
Dr Yii noted that the announcement came a few days after Liew’s announcement of the intention of the Pakatan Harapan’s government to amend the Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to restore the rightful equal status of Sabah and Sarawak in the Federation.
He also noted that the committee that was announced consisted of two main committees for the time being, being the main steering committee and the technical committee.
“The Chief Minister of both Sabah and Sarawak are included in the committee even though they are part of the opposition in the federal level. On top of that, the Sabah and Sarawak State Attorney Generals, Chief Judge of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak, state secretaries, professors, academicians and many others are also included in the committees.
“The Technical Committee will then pick the Work Committee which will further include more representatives from Sabah and Sarawak. I welcome these committees especially the fact that it involves different minds from different fields that will examine and identify the necessary legal rectifications needed to restore our rights under the Malaysian Agreement 1963,” said Dr Yii in a press statement today.
Dr Yii said this is to him the main difference compared to the Committee under the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government which then discussions were mainly done behind closed doors among politicians from only one political divide.
“The interest of the people of Sarawak and Sabah goes across political dichotomy and I do welcome this step of inclusion of representatives from the GPS government.
“I brought this issue up in Parliament not just because this is part of our manifesto and promise, but also it is important for the interest of the people in Sabah and Sarawak who were short-changed and had our rights including those to equitable distribution of wealth and reasonable development in the state, taken away over the years under the previous BN government,” he said, adding that he will follow up on the progress of the committee and that tangible rectifications to correct the wrong of the previous BN government.
Among subjects that the committee will study and propose are the corrective measures in relation to the following matters, the status of the Malaysian Agreement 1963 in the context of current legislation; efforts to improve the people’s understanding towards the Malaysia Agreement 1963 through the education system; implementation of the concept of federalism across the three territories – Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak; the rights of Sabah and Sarawak to natural resources as well as oil and gas; administrative matters that can be delegated to the states; the amount of allocation that is within the rights of Sabah and Sarawak; and amendment to Article 1 of the Federal Constitution.