Bigger scope for MA63 committee

Posted on : 11 Oct 2018  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Sarawak to model state’s autonomy discussions after those held by IGC in the formation of Malaysia

Abang Johari (second right) looking at a pipe culvert model on display at the 4th Borneo Water and Wastewater Exhibition accompanied by Utilities Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom (third right) and others. — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi


KUCHING: The Sarawak government will expand the scope of its current special committee overseeing discussions on the state’s autonomy to serve the same role as the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC).

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said this new committee will be tasked to study all aspects of the Federal Constitution and Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) in view of the proposed amendment of Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution announced recently by the federal government.

“I appreciate the proposal to amend the constitution to restore the position of Sarawak (as an equal partner).

“But I think it’s better for us to look at this holistically and in totality. This is because there is also an Article in the Federal Constitution; namely Article 112D which has to be strengthened,” he told reporters when met after officiating the 4th Borneo Water and Wastewater Exhibition and Conference 2018 at a leading hotel here yesterday.

Article 112D is listed in the constitution as review of special grants to the states of Sabah and Sarawak.

Abang Johari, who was asked to comment on Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law) Datuk Liew Vui Keong’s announcement that Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution is expected to be amended in the next Parliament sitting to restore the status of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners within the Federation of Malaysia, said the committee, once expanded, must base itself on the IGC model.

“I have expressed our views that the committee should be expanded. It must be like IGC to study all aspects of our constitution as well as MA63.

“The special committee can comprise state elected representatives and members of Parliament so they can interact and study just like the (original) IGC model.”

The original IGC was formed to report on the terms and conditions which the three sovereign states of Sarawak, Sabah and Malaya had agreed to in forming the Federation of Malaysia.

On Monday, Liew said the proposed amendment of Article 1(2) seeks to restore the status of Sarawak and Sabah as equal partners in Malaysia before the amendment made in 1976.

He also stressed that it is crucial that Sarawak and Sabah MPs must put aside their political differences and give their support in amending the provision in Parliament.