MA63 committee meaningless without Singapore, UK participation, says STAR

Sulok Tawie
Soo (left) claimed that the committee looked like a cover-up committee to lull Sarawakians into accepting breaches of MA63. ― Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, Oct 12 — Singapore and the United Kingdom should have been included as members of a committee to re-visit the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), Sarawak State Reform Party (STAR) said today.

STAR president Lina Soo said a 16-member steering Committee headed by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had no competent jurisdiction to deal with MA63, an international treaty registered with the United Nations.

“A review or revisit of an international treaty signed by Britain, Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah is meaningless and non-effective without the participation of all signatories,” she said.

She criticised the committee as comprising politicians from selected political parties and some civil servants who owe their positions to the current administration. 

Moreover, she said, many breaches of MA63 were committed during Dr Mahathir’s first tenure as prime minister from 1981 to 2003.

“Sarawak which contributes the bulk of oil and gas to Petronas and the federal coffers has only three out of 16 members in the committee to review an international agreement where the lead signatory nations are absent in the first place,” she added.

Soo claimed that the committee looked like a cover-up committee to lull Sarawakians into accepting breaches of MA63 which have exploited them for so long.

She said every day caused great economic loss to Sarawak, as unconstitutional federal laws were used to plunder Sarawak’s oil and gas.

De facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong had said two days ago that the MA63 committee would be led by Dr Mahathir to review and propose measures to rectify the status of Sarawak and Sabah as equal partners to Malaya.

Among members of the committee were Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg, federal Works Minister Baru Bian, Sarawak Attorney-General Datuk Talaat Mahmood Abdul Rashid, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking, de facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk David Wong Dak Wah and Sabah Attorney-General Zaleha Rose Pandin.

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