By Emma Victoria
THE Perikatan Nasional’s decision to shelve the formation of Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) parliamentary select committee has been termed as disappointing because it was meant to monitor the implementation of the agreement.
Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said this was clearly against the spirit of accountability and transparency especially when it comes to something so important to Sarawak’s rights under MA63.
“This gives the impression that the PN government has everything to hide and does not intend to implement the 17 out of 21 issues that was agreed before.
“Although I understand there are four other issues yet to be resolved, there is no reason why the other issues that have been agreed cannot be revealed to the public,” he said.
“The select committee is an issue that both the previous Pakatan Harapan government and MPs especially from GPS – have fought for.
“Now that they are in the government with Umno and PAS, suddenly they changed their stand and say that there is no need for such a parliamentary committee,” he said in a statement.
Yii said the parliamentary committee was important as it empowered the parliament and MPs to make sure what was agreed under the Special Cabinet Committee was implemented according to the proper timeline.
“What is even more disappointing is when the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Hanifah Taib did not really answer all the pertinent questions that was raised and only claims she is following the orders of the executive.
“This was the reason we lost our rights under the previous Barisan Nasional government in the first place when they only followed instructions from above.
“She did not even dare clarify the current Federal Government’s stand on the validity of the Petroleum Development Act 1974 even though she is a deputy minister representing the federal government,” Yii said.
“In Sarawak, GPS leaders are so vocal claiming how PDA 1974 is not valid, but in Parliament, they did not dare make a stand.
“This is why I urge the current PN government to allow the report by the Special Cabinet Committee on MA63 to be tabled in parliament for all to debate and allow the formation of the parliamentary select committee to make sure there is a bipartisan parliament monitoring the implementation of it.
“Let us not repeat the mistakes of 1974 and 1976, where our rights was surrendered purely due to “following instructions” without consulting Sabah and Sarawak people who would be affected by any decisions,” he stressed.