KUCHING, Sept 18 — The Perikatan Nasional (PN) government’s move to form a special council on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) has been labelled a delay tactic in the move towards the devolution of autonomous powers to Sarawak and Sabah.
Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii claimed this is because there was already a Special Cabinet Committee for MA63 formed under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, which consisted of both chief ministers of Sarawak and Sabah as well as leaders from both states, legal experts, academicians, and activists.
“Out of 21 issues, 17 have already been agreed by the Special Cabinet Committee. So my question is why the need to form a whole new committee again, just finalise the four other things that have yet to be decided and implement the 17 things that have already been agreed,” he said yesterday.
Dr Yii questioned why the PN government is keeping the Special Cabinet Committee for MA63 report under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) and not revealing it to the public or even tabling it in Parliament if it is serious about restoring Sarawak and Sabah’s rights.
He also questioned the PN government’s decision not to form a bi-partisan Parliamentary Select Committee to monitor the implementation of MA63, which was agreed to under PH.
“All these are our rights and affect all of us here. We should be allowed to monitor and to scrutinise what was discussed and agreed and not allow the mistake of past where our rights where taken away without consultation with the people,” he said.
Dr Yii claimed the PN government is demonstrating that it is not serious about returning Sarawak’s rights and the formation of the special council on MA63 is clearly an attempt to delay it and to give a sweet promise before the elections.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Cabinet had on Sept 9 agreed to form a Special Council on MA63, which would be chaired by Muhyiddin and include the chief ministers of Sarawak and Sabah as members.
Federal ministers and other members would be appointed to the council according to suitability, qualifications, and expertise.
Muhyiddin also said the Special Council will be assisted by existing committees set up at ministerial and federal agency level based on relevant issues too. — Borneo Post