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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Panel on M'sia Agreement should not be an eyewash

LABUAN - The panel set up by the Federal Government to identify is sues of non-compliance to the terms in the Malaysia Agreement 1963, which bestows special rights to Sabah and Sarawak, should set a date on when its findings will be completed and whether its recommendations will be implemented without delay.

Activist Datuk Patrick Sindu said this is important to address the nagging concerns in the two states.

"Such declarations will help avoid adverse public perceptions that the new committee is not an eyewash that would end up with no outcome like several other panels or committees formed before to study various issues affecting Sabah," he said.

He recalled that the Royal Commission of Inquiry formed few years ago did not help to effectively end the MyKad woes, nor the Technical Committee on Illegal Immigrants headed by Deputy Chief Minister cum PBS President Tan Sri Pairin Kitingan did much to address the problems.

Prior to that, there was also a panel formed to re-study the petroleum royalty issues in Sabah.

"All these committees formed over the years under high profile, which held out hopes for solutions, produced no desired results.

"Most of us hope the Technical Committee formed to identify the Malaysia Agreement-related and other documents, such as the Inter-Governmental Committee Report as well as the Cobbold Commission report, will complete its works before the next general election and Sabah and Sarawak's problems finally made constitutionally right," said Patrick.

Commending on the Federal Government for finally recognising the calls from the two states and agreeing to form the committee, Patrick said this "was the first tangible step" to devolution of powers on the two states' rights under the Federal Constitution and Malaysia Agreement 1963.

"This is the right time to do it since the two states now enjoy good relationship with the Prime Minister and other Federal leaders," he said.

The Technical Committee, which was formed last month, comprises representatives from the Federal Government, Sabah and Sarawak.

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