Minister: Putrajaya to study decision of Sarawak assembly once ‘hot moment’ on MA63 tabled

De facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong (2nd left) and Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg (centre) pose for the photographers before the start of their meeting, April 29, 2019. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
De facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong (2nd left) and Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg (centre) pose for the photographers before the start of their meeting, April 29, 2019. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, April 29 — De facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong today said he is eagerly awaiting  the outcome of a motion on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Federal Constitution to be tabled and debated at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly tomorrow.

He said he would leave the issues concerning MA63 and the Federal Constitution for the state assembly to deal with them first.

He said Putrajaya will then study the decision of the Sarawak State Assembly.

Liew said he believes that the issues concerning MA63 and the Federal Constitution will be hotly debated by state assemblymen from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH).

“So I think we just wait for the hot moment because I don’t know what are the MA63 and constitutional packages that the state assembly wants to restore,” he told reporters after a meeting for over an hour with Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg here today.

Also present were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah and State Attorney-General Datuk Talaat Mahmood Abdul Rashid.

“We want to see what the Sarawak assembly will decide because it is the voice of the people translated through the state assemblymen,” he said, adding that he will closely follow the debate through social media and online news portals.

Liew said he and Abang Johari have differences on the interpretations of certain provisions of MA63, adding that they agreed to leave the matter to their respective constitutional lawyers from both sides to come up with their interpretations.

Asked if the federal government would re-table the Constitutional (Amendment) Bill 2019 which failed to secure a two-thirds majority in Parliament recently, Liew said it all depends on the decision of the Sarawak State Assembly on the motion.

Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relationship and Project Monitoring Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali is due to table the motion on MA63 and Federal Constitution.

Liew said the issue concerning the proposed relocation of the principal registry of the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak from here to Kota Kinabalu was also raised at the meeting.

He said Abang Johari had expressed strong objection to the relocation as he was not consulted on the matter.

He said the proposal to relocate the high court registry was made by the former Chief Justice of Malaysia in consultation with the chief judge of Sabah and Sarawak.

He said the proposal to relocate the registry would not be carried out on May 1 for now.

Liew said issues unrelated to MA63 would be dealt with separately, and one at a time, by Putrajaya and Sarawak government.

He also said he would brief Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the outcome of his meeting with Abang Johari later.

“He is my boss and the prime minister of Malaysia so I have to brief him,” he said.