KUCHING: After the failed Bill to amend Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution in April, representatives of the Sarawak government appeared satisfied with the outcome of a meeting to review the implementation of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) yesterday.
Although no decisions were reached, the Cabinet Special Committee (Pemandu) which met for its second meeting in Putrajaya yesterday ended on a “positive note”.
Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Assistant Minister Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali said all proposals related to reclaiming the state’s rights brought to the meeting were “discussed in harmony”.
“The proposals will be further discussed in the next MA63 technical and working committee meeting,” she said in an interview with the Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas) here.
Yesterday’s meeting was the first after the Bill to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution tabled during the last Parliament sitting on April 9 was rejected.
All 18 Members of Parliament (MPs) from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and one GPS-friendly Sarawakian MP were among the 59 lawmakers who had abstained from voting on the amendment.
A total of 138 MPs voted for the amendment, which was short of the two-thirds majority or 148 votes required to pass it.
GPS MPs had abstained as they felt that the proposed amendment was not only done in haste but failed to give prior consideration to the original content of MA63.
The GPS-led state government had earlier insisted that the proposed amendment clearly state the rights of Sarawak and Sabah as equal partners in Malaysia.
The state had wanted the words “pursuant to the Malaysia Agreement 1963” to be included in the amendment to guarantee that Sarawak and Sabah would not lose their rights.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg led the Sarawak delegation at yesterday’s meeting. Two other representatives from the state were Deputy State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Gerawat Gala and state Attorney General Datuk Talat Mahmood Abdul Rashid.
The meeting which lasted for two hours was chaired by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.