KUCHING: The 16-member committee headed by the Prime Minister has no competent jurisdiction to deal with an international treaty registered with the United Nations signed by five nations – Britain, Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah. Thus, it is meaningless and non-effective without the participation of all signatories.
President of State Reform Party Sarawak (STAR) Lina Soo, maintains that MA63 is an international agreement prepared by the British with the British government as principal signatory, and any review can only be done with all the signatories back at the table.
“Where are the British and Singapore representatives?” Soo asked.
Soo was commenting on Putrajaya’s decision to set up three special committees to look into the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), as announced by Liew Vui Keong, a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
The steering committee will be chaired by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, with the chief ministers from Sabah and Sarawak, the attorneys-general of both states and federal Attorney-General Tommy Thomas.
Soo highlighted that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir was in power as federal minister and prime minister for more than 30 years, which is more than half of the lifetime of the federation of Malaysia, and it was during his political tenure that many of the breaches of the Agreement had occurred.
She also questioned why only three Sarawakians were included in the 16-member steering committee that comprise of PH ministers like Lim Guan Eng, Mohamed Azmin Ali, Gobind Singh Deo, Saifuddin Abdullah and a few other MPs.
“Sarawak which contributes the bulk of oil and gas to Petronas and the federal coffers has only three members out of 16, in a Committee to review an international agreement where the lead signatory nations are absent in the first place,” she lamented.
The three members are Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Dr Abang Johari Tun Openg, Minister of Works Baru Bian and Sarawak Attorney-General Datuk Talat Mahmood Abdul Rashid.
She said without participation of British government, the committee looks like a bad joke, akin to agreeing to a bunch of monkeys to manage a banana farm.
“The Committee looks like a cover-up committee, to hoodwink and lure Sarawakians into accepting breaches of MA63 which have exploited Sarawakians for so long, and every passing day is great economic loss to Sarawak where federal laws which are unconstitutional to Sarawak have continually been used to plunder Sarawak oil and gas,” she said.