MA63 report not meant to be kept secret

Dr Kelvin Yii

KUCHING: The Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) report under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) was not meant to be kept secret said Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.

He said under the previous PH federal government, it was agreed that a bi-partisan Parliament Select Committee be formed to monitor what was agreed upon under the Special Cabinet Committee on MA63 and to make sure it was implemented.

“That allows the report to be more transparent, and accountable to the people. So it is not meant to be kept under OSA or kept secret from the people.

“And as minister, he has every power to decide to remove it from OSA,” Dr Yii said referring to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Maximus Ongkili in a Facebook post on Thursday (Sept 30).

Dr Yii had questioned Ongkili on the federal government’s decision to put the MA63 report under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).

“The Minister’s excuse that all files he received from the PH government were ‘chop rahsia’ is weak and non-justifiable.

“This is because almost all government documents that have not been released to the public yet are ‘chop rahsia’, it doesn’t mean it will be a secret forever,” he said.

The MP said when it comes to public interest, there must be more transparency and accountability, adding that the best way to do it is to put it in Parliament.

Earlier this month, Dr Yii called for the report of the discussions made by Sarawak, Sabah and the federal government under the MA63 Special Cabinet Committee during PH’s tenure be disclosed to the public.

The MP said while he welcomed that one of the important clause in the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on ‘political transformation and stability’ was on MA63, steps must be taken to expedite the progress.

“We want to see what the government will do, not just put on paper and delay any further need for proper implementation,” he said.