KUCHING, Dec 9 — The best way for Putrajaya to resolve outstanding issues related to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) is to allow the devolution of power, said Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg.

The Premier said he had spoken to Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) federal Cabinet ministers yesterday about their task to resolve outstanding MA63 demands.

He said while some matters could be achieved within the one-month time frame set by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yussof to complete the task, other issues may need more time.

Abang Johari explained this is because they require relevant constitutional provisions to be brought in line with MA63.


“Yes, I had met with the federal Cabinet from Sarawak, which was led by our Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah, and in that meeting we discussed the MA63 issues.

“There are some problems that can be solved within a month, while there are some related to legislation that I don’t think can be solved within a month,” he told reporters after attending an Islamic Astronomy Seminar at the Sarawak Islamic Information Centre here today.

He said Anwar had been open to discussions with Sarawak, in the state’s efforts to regain eroded powers within the context of the Federal Constitution and MA63.


“Fadillah has taken this into account on this problem and I myself had a discussion with the Prime Minister about this issue recently. And he (Anwar) had given assurance that he will give his focus on MA63 issues,” Abang Johari said, adding he also had raised issues pertaining to legislative power for the implementation of federal projects in Sarawak.

“And this includes the mechanism in developing federal projects in Sarawak.”

He said his proposal to establish a state trust fund under the Ministry of Finance to regulate federal government funds and projects approved for Sarawak could reduce bureaucratic red tape.

“I have shared with you, on our proposal for the federal government to establish a state trust fund. By using the trust fund, it can help to address how the mechanism can be implemented. I am sure that this will reduce bureaucratic processes, which now are too dense.

“But actually what is important in empowerment for Sarawak, is the devolution of power given to the state,” he added. — Borneo Post Online