Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sarawak lawmaker wants state to enlighten public on Malaysia Agreement

NOVEMBER 27, 2013
An opposition lawmaker from Sarawak has urged the state government to seek public opinion on the Malaysia Agreement by organising a series of public forums in the state.
“It will be useful for the general public to be enlightened on this agreement,” state PKR secretary-general See Chee How (pic) was quoted as saying by The Borneo Post.
See commended Sarawak Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing for "reminding" Putrajaya about the agreement, which was signed in 1963 for the incorporation of Sabah and Sarawak into the newly-formed Malaysia federation.
Masing had called for the terms and conditions of the Agreement be honoured and that Sarawak and Sabah be equal entities as Peninsular Malaysia, rather than be treated as the 12th and 13th states of the federation.
“The important message that he wanted to convey is that Putrajaya honour the agreement. Most of us in the opposition bench are demanding a ‘review’ of the Malaysia Agreement," he said.
“There is really no need to mince our words because, whether it is to remind or to call for a review, what we are asking for is that the parties return to the Malaysian Agreement and honour the terms and obligations of the agreements," See told the Borneo Post.
"We are actually demanding our interests and rights under the agreement, and that the federal government fulfill their obligations."
See said Masing should not worry that a review of the agreement would bring an unfavourable outcome to Sarawak.
“The fact that we have, for the first time, had a state celebration on July 22 this year, to commemorate our actual Independence day on July 22, 1963, has shown the state’s resolve to pursue our claims for full rights and
privileges in Malaysia, be it a reminder or seeking a review of the Malaysia Agreement, which is one of the most crucial agreements that enumerated the rights, privileges and obligations of all parties to the formation of Malaysia." the Padungan assemblyman stressed.
The Parliament this month rejected an emergency motion tabled by Penampang MP Darell Leiking from PKR, who called for a special committee to review the 18- and 20-point agreements for Sabah and Sarawak respectively.
Darell pointed out that a review was due since the agreement was 50 years old, and that several events merited such a motion.
He cited the recent ruling on the use of the word Allah by the Court of Appeal, the transfer of judges from East Malaysia affecting Sabah and Sarawak's judicial autonomy, as well as matters concerning oil royalties.
The agreements are subject to review every 10 years to establish whether all the points were being fulfilled.
De facto Law Minister Nancy Shukri recently dismissed the need for an authoritative report to review the agreements, saying the federal government had never neglected any state since the formation of Malaysia. - November 27, 2013.
~ The Malaysian Insider

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