SRI AMAN, Aug 24 — Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg today gave his assurance that he will report back to the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Consultative Committee on issues, including oil and gas, raised in his negotiation with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad relating to Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
He said he will not make any decision without referring the issues to the consultative committee.
“That is how we negotiate with the prime minister over our rights,” he said when launching Zone 6 of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) at Lachau bazaar, about 60km from here.
“In the negotiation with the prime minister, I will not give any concession regarding our rights, including oil and gas, but I will report the issues raised at the negotiation to the consultative committee,” he said.
“But there are people who deliberately created and twisted stories to say that I will make my own personal decision without reporting to the state assembly.
“As representative of the people of Sarawak, I will report back to them through the consultative committee,” he said, adding that the interest of Sarawak must come first.
He said it is important for GPS to protect the state’s interest before the interest of any individual.
Abang Johari also explained why Dr Mahathir had decided to have face-to-face negotiation with him and Sabah Chief Minister Datuk SerI Shafie Apdal on the rights of the two Borneo states, instead of by the various committee, including the Special Cabinet Committee on the review of MA63.
He said it was the view of the prime minister that there are too many layers of committees involved in the negotiation, especially on oil and gas.
“That was why the prime minister had said he wanted to discuss the issue on oil and gas with me and the Sabah chief minister directly,” he said.
Among those present at the launch of GPS Zone 6 were Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Khui Hian, and Sarawak Speaker Datuk Amar Asfia Awang Nasar.
The GPS Zone 6 consists the state constituencies of Balai Ringgin, Bukit Begunan, Simanggang, Engkelili and Batang Ai.