Search This Blog

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sarawak rep says high time to revisit MA63

KUCHING - An assemblyman who seconded a motion in the Sarawak Assembly calling on the Federal Government to comply with the intentions of the Founding Fathers in Borneo, as expressed in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), said that it (compliance) was an idea whose time has come.

“It’s high time to revisit the agreement. There’s increasing pressure on the Sarawak Government in the social media. People are raising the MA63 and asking all sorts of questions. The government has to respond.”

Asajaya assemblyman Abdul Karim Hamzah, also the Assistant Minister of Housing, disclosed that the Sarawak Government has since set up many committees on MA63.

He pointed out that it cannot be denied that there was a lot of unhappiness in Sarawak about the territory’s state of under-development despite over half a century of Federation with the peninsula and Sabah. “There are also questions on oil and gas rights, education, the status of the English language and freedom of worship. We are very unhappy that Sarawak, like Sabah, has been dragged into the Allah issue in the peninsula.”

Abdul Karim was explaining the motion introduced this week by Baleh assemblyman James Masing, also Sarawak Minister for Land Development. “After more than 50 years, there are various factors that ought to be looked into and considered.”

“Has MA63 been complied with?”

The Assistant Minister said that he doesn’t want to dwell on areas that have been eroded over the years and added that these have been raised by Chief Minister Adenan Satem. “Adenan has raised these issues in the State Assembly, in public in Sarawak and in the peninsula.”

He denied that the Barisan Nasional (BN) Sarawak was in fact trying to jump on the “popularity bandwagon” created by the Opposition on MA63 and claimed that it was the other way around. “The Opposition is trying to capitalize on moves initiated by Adenan in response to demands in the social media.”

Masing’s motion incorporates motions by Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen, Pelawan assemblyman David Wong, and Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How, all from the informal opposition alliance.

Briefly, Chong’s motion called for the appointment of a Special Select Committee to review MA63 and the 9th Schedule of the Federal Constitution in four areas viz. Education, Health, Internal Security, and Taxation. Wong’s motion was on English as the official language of Sarawak. See called for the rejection of the Territorial Sea Act of 2012, upholding the territorial integrity of Sarawak and the establishment of a Commission to look into the constitutional and legal framework for the devolution of powers to Sarawak.

Adenan has since said that he wants Sarawak to regain Full Autonomy, the status the state had in 1963, and in line with the letter and spirit of MA63.

Masing called for the Sarawak Government to take all measures under Article VIII of MA63 to ensure full compliance with the constitutional document (MA63) as outlined in the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report and the Cobbold Commission Report.

By William Mangor

No comments:

Post a Comment