Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg

KUCHING: Discussions on restoring Sarawak’s rights under the Federal Constitution and Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) will continue under the Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal government.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said, previously the discussions were held under a special Cabinet committee formed by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration.

“We are pursuing many things. We want our MPs to use the old formula where Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore represented one-third of Parliament.

“This is because if the Federal Constitution were to be amended, it only needs two-thirds majority, so with it (one-third representation), we have a voice to discuss with Malaya.

“The discussions will be continued and while the old MA63 committee is disbanded, all  discussions will be moved to the Sabah and Sarawak Affairs Ministry under the Prime Minister’s Department led by Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili,” he said in an exclusive interview with New Sarawak Tribune on Thursday.

The chief minister said other than the representation in Parliament, the state would also pursue the allocation of special grants to Sarawak and Sabah under Article 112(d) of the Federal Constitution.

“We need a formula to be derived. If the nation is doing well, then the allocation should be more substantial. If the economy declines, the allocation will also be lowered, but there must be a formula,” he said.

Abang Johari said during the PH administration, Sarawak was given RM36 million which the state received with the condition that a formula was revealed to them.

“If the economy is bad, we can accept RM20 million or even RM18 million, but if the economy is good, we must get a bigger allocation. We want the formula so that we know the rationale behind the allocation,” he asserted.