State govt prepare to work with opposition to restore Sabah's rights: CM

KRISTY INUS AND BRANDON JOHN

KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Seri Musa Aman today reiterated the state government's willingness to work with the opposition over issues related to the restoration of Sabah’s rights.


The Chief Minister, during the state assembly sitting, said a committee to review Sabah’s rights under the Malaysian Agreement 1963 is taking into consideration the views of all quarters, including non-governmental organisations and professionals.


“We might be of different ideologies but ultimately it does not matter if you are the opposition or government... All of us want what is right and good for the people of Sabah.


“So, it is not just about reviewing Sabah’s rights. In fact, we want to look into what federal powers that can be handed over to (be managed by) the state government... Looking at our best interest.


“So, I thanked opposition like YB Bingkor (Dr Jeffrey Kitingan) who always offer suggestions. We will study it and if it is reasonable, (there will be) no problem (in applying it),” he said when replying to an additional question by Jeffrey (Star-Bingkor).


Earlier, Sabah Special Tasks Minister Datuk Teo Chee Kang replied to a question by Chan Foong Hin (DAP-Sri Tanjong) on the development of the devolution of power from the federal to state government.


Teo said the committee, during the meeting on November 29 last year, had decided to form a work committee headed by Teo himself and lawyers to look into related legal and technical issues.


A hearing involving political parties including the opposition was also held in January this year where 17 parties were invited and 10 sent their representatives.


“The event which took place at state assembly building saw Umno, LDP, PBS, MCA, Upko, PBRS, MIC, DAP, PKR and PAS representatives attending and nine of the party representatives gave written arguements,” he added.


On additional question by Chan, Teo said there was no need to set a bottom line in the negotiations with federal as the claims are made based on Malaysia Agreement 1963.


As of the possibility of holding a special session to discuss on the topic, he said: ”I can’t answer that but this can be brought forward to the state government if there is a necessity".