Federal government to establish high-level committee to resolve MA63 issues

Posted on : 10 Feb 2018  Source of News: borneo post online

Najib at the 14th PBB Convention, with Abang Johari on his left. Photo by Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: Federal government will establish a high-level committee to negotiate with Sarawak in resolving outstanding issues on the state’s rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

This was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the opening ceremony of the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) convention here today,  in response to the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s speech that Sarawak had in the last State Legislative Assembly sitting passed the government’s motion to form a “high-level special task force” to take over the state’s negotiation with the federal government.

“Abang Jo, don’t worry. If you have three of your Deputy Chief Ministers to lead your committee, we will also establish a high-level committee at the federal level to negotiate nicely with you in finding a solution.

“We in Barisan Nasional (BN), we can discuss because there are many from Sarawak who are also in the Federal Cabinet. I am the only Prime Minister who had appointed the most Sarawakians in the Cabinet,” he said.

Najib, who is also federal BN chairman, said he was honest and sincere when it comes to returning what rightfully belonged to the people of Sarawak.

“I have promised, if we have by design or inadvertently, took the power and the rights of the people in Sarawak, I am willing to return them back to Sarawak.

“We don’t need to take the rights of other people, right. We are in one family. What is important is, we remain in the BN government and our country Malaysia,” he said.

He noted that in the past, during the tenure of someone who was in power for 22 years, whosoever talked of MA63 would be detained under the Internal Security Act.

He said one can ask Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili and other Sabahan politicians, who were detained under the ISA for bringing up the MA63 issue.

He alleged many others had also been detained under ISA without explanation.

“I want to ask you, do you want the return of that period?

“I want to quote an English proverb, “Can a leopard change its spot or better still can a very old leopard change its spot?” he said.

Earlier, Abang Johari said the state government had decided that the three deputy chief ministers (Tan Sri James Jemut Masing, Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas and Datuk Awang Tengah Ali Hassan) would represent the state government to negotiate with the federal government and resolve outstanding issues on Sarawak’s rights according to the MA63.