Sarawak thanks Putrajaya for understanding state’s rights

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg

KUCHING: Sarawak thanks the federal government for understanding the state’s special rights under the Constitution and its need to reclaim its eroded and lost rights.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said with the cooperation from Putrajaya, open and honest discussions could be made on getting back Sarawak’s rights.

“We thank the federal government for being understanding on several issues that we have raised.

“Currently, there is a Sabah and Sarawak Affairs Ministry at the federal level headed by Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili and his deputy, Datuk Hanifah Hajar Taib who is our Sarawakian representative,” he said during a live interview with RTM today.

Abang Johari said for Sarawak, under its law, the State Attorney General had the power to prosecute a criminal case. It had also prioritised the intake of teachers working in the state for Sarawakians.

“This is among the things we are protecting along with laws pertaining to our land as they are our rights. The same goes for the immigration laws which we have retained.

“In this matter, there has been an understanding between the federal government and the state government.

“When the nation was governed by Pakatan Harapan (PH), there was a committee to look into the state’s rights (under the Malaysia Agreement 1963). This has been continued under Perikatan Nasional (PN),” he said.

In recalling the struggle to uphold Sarawak’s rights, Abang Johari stressed that the formation of Malaysia was based on the Malaysia Agreement 1963, Inter-Government Committee (IGC) Report 1962 and the Federal Constitution.

“When we saw there were rights that were eroded, were discussed with the federal government for them to be retained.

“At the same time, we discussed the preservation of the state’s special rights. The nation shares its wealth and administration based on constitutional provisions under the Federal, State and Concurrent List,” he explained.