PETALING JAYA: The Sarawak state government must strongly protest the move by the Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal government to shelve the decision on the formation of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
Two-term Batu Lintang state assemblyman See Chee How said with the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) coalition being a part of the federal government, Putrajaya must disclose its deadline to complete the devolution of the special and autonomous rights promised under the MA63 to Sarawak.
“This decision by the federal government has cut the ground from underneath the State GPS government’s feet,” See said in a statement today.
“The pronouncement by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak affairs) Hanifah Hajar Taib in Parliament that the federal government has decided there is no need for the PSC on MA63 to be established is a clear betrayal against the people of Sarawak and Sabah.
“If the state government maintains its silence, it would reflect badly on the GPS government as it would mean it has reneged its earlier position to advocate and support the formation of the MA63 PSC,” he said.
The establishment of the PSC was proposed by former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Parliamentary Affairs) Liew Vui Keong in April 2019 to facilitate the implementation of MA63.
Through the PSC, the former Pakatan Harapan government had agreed to engage and involve all MPs to ensure the successful implementation of MA63.
A permanent member of the Cabinet Steering Committee under the previous administration was to lead the PSC as chairman.
“Being a body constituted in Parliament, a PSC will be able to garner and harness the support of MPs for amendments to the Federal Constitution to safeguard Sarawak’s special rights and autonomy under the MA63,” See said.
Sarawak CM, govt supported PSC
He added that the setting up of the PSC on MA63 under the former PH government had received the full support of Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg, the state cabinet and current senior federal minister Fadillah Yusof.
“Now, the PN federal government has since disbanded the MA63 Cabinet Steering Committee and even claimed that the PSC on MA63 is unnecessary.”
See said that on March 13, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Maximus Ongkili, who hails from Sabah, said that his main task in the PN federal government was to solve issues on the MA63 within six months.
“However, five months have lapsed with his deputy, who is a GPS MP, announcing that the federal government now wants to form a special council to review the implementation on MA63.
“The special council will require one to two years to implement 17 out of the 21 subject matters that had been agreed by the previous government to be devolved to Sarawak and Sabah.
“But with the special council yet to be formed, such an ambiguous answer in Parliament is absolutely unacceptable. It seems to be a delay tactic by the PN federal government,” he said.
See also claimed the state GPS government is now guilty by association with this federal government, as the latter has shown no sincerity nor determination to return and restore the full rights and autonomy of Sarawak.