No window dressing, says Sarawak on MA63 review

Sarawak Consultative Committee on MA63 chairman Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar (seated second from left) and members of the committee after their meeting in Kuching today.

KUCHING: The Sarawak Consultative Committee on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) will support an amendment to the Federal Constitution only if it benefits the people of the state.

The committee’s chairman, Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar, said the amendment must contain substantive improvements to the rights and interests of the state and not merely for the “purpose of window dressing”.

“For the moment, we will reserve our comments on the matter until after the proposed bill has been sighted by members of the committee,” he said after chairing a meeting of the committee here today.

Asfia, who is also the Sarawak speaker, said the committee has yet to view the bill despite de facto law minister Liew Vui Keong announcing that its first reading will be on April 3, followed by the second reading on April 9.

“We will wait to be updated in accordance with the schedule agreed by the federal steering committee.

“As the discussions on the review of MA63 have been classified as secret, we are not at liberty to divulge the contents of what is being discussed at the moment,” he said.

Earlier this month, Liew said a bill will be tabled in Parliament to restore the wording of Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to what existed before 1976.

With this amendment, both Sabah and Sarawak will no longer be perceived as mere states within Malaysia, he said.