KUALA LUMPUR: Returning the one-third seat composition in the Dewan Rakyat for Sabah and Sarawak as stipulated in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) is still in the discussion stage, says Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof (pic).
However, the Deputy Prime Minister said the matter will take two to three years to complete as it needed to go through many stages including three main committees, namely the MA63 Steering Committee; MA63 Technical Committee and MA63 Implementation Action Council, as well as involve various parties.
Fadillah said the MA63 Technical Committee, which he chaired, would discuss issues related to MA63 based on topics and give priority to those that did not involve complicated legal or technical matters.
"Once it is decided at the technical level, it will then be taken to the Implementation Action Council for final approval before being presented to the Cabinet to make amendments to all related laws.
"So the process is still long. We also have to get Cabinet approval, before tabling it in Parliament, which requires a two-thirds majority support,” he told reporters after appearing as a guest on RTM’s "Naratif Khas Bersama Timbalan Perdana Menteri" programme on Wednesday (Feb 2) night.
Earlier in the programme, Fadillah, who is also Plantations and Commodities Minister, said that the one-third parliamentary seat allocation for Sabah and Sarawak was important as it would not allow the peninsula to amend the Constitution that may eliminate the rights of the two states as enshrined in MA63.
In addition to the parliamentary seat allocation, he said the return of autonomy of education and health to Sabah and Sarawak was also currently in the discussion stage.
On the "Sarawak First" slogan, Fadillah said it was created to restore the spirit of the people of Sarawak to together build and develop Malaysia.
He said although there were calls for Sarawak to leave Malaysia, the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) leadership has expressed its commitment that the state will remain as part of Malaysia. - Bernama