KUCHING: The Sarawak assembly yesterday unanimously passed a ministerial motion on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and matters related to it.
The motion was moved by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas, who is also Bukit Saban assemblyman, and seconded by another Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister, Tan Sri James Jemut Masing.
It was passed after being debated by six assemblymen, including four from the opposition.
The four opposition members were See Chee How (PKR-Batu Lintang), Wong King Wei (DAP-Padungan), Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Kota Sentosa) and Baru Bian (PKR- Ba’kelalan), while the two from BN were Dr Sim Hui Kian (Batu Kawa) and Penguang Manggil (Marudi).
Speaker Datuk Mohamad Asfia Awang Nasar later put the motion to a vote that was unanimously supported by all members of the state assembly.
Uggah, in moving the motion, sought the august house to mandate the state government to form a high-level special task force to negotiate with the federal government to resolve all outstanding issues related to compliance and upholding of the constitutional safeguards and special rights accorded to Sarawak in accordance with the terms, intent and spirit of the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
He said the task force would help conclude the negotiations with the federal government and have the issues resolved in conformity with legal and constitutional positions.
“Hence, the state government would humbly request the federal government establish a corresponding task force so as to facilitate the resolving of these issues amicably and in the interest of the nation, with the state’s interests and rights properly safeguarded and entrenched,” said Uggah.
He said the passing of the motion should not in any way be misinterpreted or construed to mean that the state was willing to sacrifice and jeopardise the continued existence of Malaysia as a nation.
“We respect and honour the decision of our past leaders for our beloved state to be part of Malaysia and we will always remain in Malaysia.
“Let there be no doubt about this fact.
“We will always uphold the sanctity of the spirit and the words of our state anthem,” he said.
On Sept 16, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak reassured the people that Sabah and Sarawak would be accorded their rights as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
On Dec 8, 2015, the Sarawak assembly passed a motion, moved by Masing, to mandate the state government to take all necessary measures under Article VIII of the Malaysia Agreement for the complete implementation of all recommendations in the Inter-Governmental Committee Report 1962 and safeguard the special interests of the state and its people.
A team, led by Samariang assemblyperson Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, was sent to London to view the original copies of documents related to the Malaysia Agreement 1963, kept in the British National Archives.
Uggah said the team had procured certified copies of these important documents. – Bernama