KUCHING, July 22 — The suggestion for a new Malaysia Agreement to be drawn up can open new opportunities for Sarawak to demand not only existing rights but for improvements as well.
University of Malaya Centre for Democracy and Elections (UMcedel) sociopolitical analyst Associate Professor Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi said the proposal should also be discussed and not be rejected outright, especially in a democracy that celebrates differences in opinion.
He said perhaps through the new Malaysia Agreement, various issues and proposals related to Sarawak such as the addition of more parliamentary seats in the state could become a reality.
“So maybe through this new deal we (Sarawak) will get one-third of the parliamentary seats, that is good enough. This is also an opportunity for the improvement of what we have (existing rights).
“In fact, in the issue of sales and service tax (SST), maybe Sarawak can get more. Therefore, we need to have the courage to explore and move forward and the courage to negotiate more,” he said.
He said this when appearing on Bernama TV’s Ruang Bicara programme, which discussed the topic “A Meaningful Sarawak Day” in conjunction with Sarawak Independence Day today.
Also appearing as guests in the programme were Universiti Putra Malaysia political scientist Prof Datuk Dr Jayum Jawan and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Centre for the Study of History, Politics and International Affairs Head of History Programme Dr Suffian Mansor.
On July 2, Barisan Nasional (BN) deputy chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, at the Sabah BN convention, had suggested that Sabah BN propose a New Malaysia Agreement as a more concrete way forward to realising the rights and demands of the state in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63). — Bernama