KUCHING: Sarawak is prepared to enter talks with Putrajaya over the second phase of devolution of powers, which touched on constitutional rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
The state has its panels for the special committee in place but talks can only begin after the Federal Government submits its list of corresponding members, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
He added that the special committee will consist of three deputy chief ministers and the Sarawak Attorney-General to engage with panels from Putrajaya.
The discussion will also be based on the parameter of the original Inter Governmental Committee Report (IGCR), which was supposed to review the MA63 some 10 years after independence, he said.
However, the review never took place following the death of IGCR chairman and former deputy prime minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman due to a heart attack in 1973.
“The first phase of the devolution of powers, focusing on administration, has been implemented smoothly. The state will soon embark on the second phase discussion that touches on constitutional rights.
“This is a very delicate issue and must be based on facts and not emotions. Sarawak will enter discussion based on all gathered documents and texts relating to MA63,” Abang Johari told reporters after chairing the state Barisan Nasional meeting at Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) here on Friday (Jan 12).
Abang Johari, who is PBB president, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has agreed to begin talks, although the state is waiting for Putrajaya to submit its list of panel members for the discussion.