Official says Sarawak will use only legal means for bid to reclaim state’s rights

Sarawak’s Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring, Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman, speaks to reporters at the Federal Court in Kuala Lumpur June 22, 2018. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali
Sarawak’s Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring, Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman, speaks to reporters at the Federal Court in Kuala Lumpur June 22, 2018. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali

KUCHING, May 2 — The state government will ensure steps it takes to reclaim the state’s rights are within the confines of the Federal Constitution and Malaysian laws, said Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali.

The Sarawak assistant minister of law, state-federal relationship and project monitoring said the state government has many options in the event of a deadlock, but all are within the perimeter of the laws and in the context of Malaysia.

“This is our stand,” she told the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly.

Hasidah said the people should not talk about avenues outside the Federal Constitution and the context of Malaysia.

She said the state government will continue with consultations and discussions with the federal government to reclaim the state’s rights enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

“I hope there is no deadlock in the discussion for the return of the rights, if there is, we will cross the bridge when we come to it,” she said when replying to Dr Hazland Abang Hipni (GPS- Demak Laut) and Datuk Dr Juanda Jaya (GPS-Jemoreng) during Question and Answer session.

Hasidah said the negotiations were being made through state Cabinet’s steering committee on the review of MA63, technical committee and at various levels with the federal government.

She said the steering committee has been given six months to prepare a full report on all the discussions held so far.

The state government will continue to raise issues concerning the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) and Territorial Sea Act 2012 (TSA) in the special steering committee chaired by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the technical committee, she added.

She said the motion for the proposed comprehensive amendment to the Federal Constitution, which was unanimously endorsed at yesterday’s sitting, covered the legality of these two federal Acts to Sarawak.