Basic state rights non-negotiable

(From left) Sharifah Hasidah, Jaul, Abang Johari, Saferi and state legal officer Evy Liana Atang in the meeting held via a video conference.

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has reaffirmed his stand to protect four basic Sarawak rights in the first Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) special council meeting.

“In the ongoing negotiations between the federal and the state governments, I wish to emphasise the state government’s unwavering stance on four non-negotiable matters.

“These are the state’s immigration rights and rights to taxation like the imposition of the state sales tax (SST), port dues and other state laws.

“These include the protection of state rights over the continental shelves and sovereignty over its seabed and sub-soils,” he said.

He said this in his address during a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin via a video conference today.

Abang Johari said the matters accorded to the state were its fundamental rights under the MA63 and the federal constitution.

Also present at the meeting were state secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion; Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring assistant minister Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali and acting State Attorney-General Saferi Ali.

On Sept 16, Muhyiddin announced the formation of a special council on MA63 in a move to expedite the restoration of eroded state rights to Sarawak and Sabah.

In his Malaysia Day address in Sibu, the premier said the council would discuss issues related to the rights of Sabah and Sarawak as enshrined in the MA63.

“Among them are the position of Sabah and Sarawak as partners in the federation, state rights under Article 112 of the Federal Constitution, MA63 and Intergovernmental Committee (IGC) report, state security and education.

“This special council will be assisted by existing committees that have been established at the level of ministries and federal agencies based on relevant issues,” he said.