Adenan meets PM tomorrow about devolution

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PETALING JAYA: Sarawak chief minister Adenan Satem is to meet the prime minister, Najib Razak, tomorrow to discuss matters about devolution of power to the state.

“The Chief Minister will submit two memoranda to the Prime Minister on the State Government’s position on the matter,” his office said in a press statement.

The discussions will also include the reports and recommendations of the Inter-Governmental Committee and the Cobbold Commission before the formation of Malaysia; the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 between Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore; and the Malaysia Act.

State rights have been contentious in Sabah and Sarawak for several decades with both Borneo states complaining of heavy-handed control from the federal government.

They have also objected to being treated as the 12th and 13th states of the federation, contending that the two Borneo states and Singapore had entered into the Malaysia Agreement as equal partners with Malaya.

In May, while campaigning for the Barisan Nasional at the state assembly elections, Adenan had said that the remaining parties to the Malaysia Agreement should get together and discuss the constitutional document.

Singapore left the federation in 1965.

Adenan had said then that Najib had agreed to discuss the Malaysia Agreement in the second phase of negotiations between the Sarawak and federal governments.

Adenan has said that federal legislation could not impinge on Sarawak’s rights, and that the Malaysia Agreement could not be through the Federal Constitution.

“It’s above the Federal Constitution. That’s why we object to being called the 13th state (Sabah the 12th). The issue of being the 13th state doesn’t arise,” Adenan had said.