Hornbill Unleashed

July 30, 2018

‘New deal, but terms and conditions apply’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) will announce the proposed ‘New Deal Agreement’ today, which will then be brought to the special cabinet committee to safeguard Sarawak’s rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

According to PH Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen, it is important that Sarawak’s rights under MA63 be protected and that is why the ‘New Deal Agreement’ has been created.

He said all Sarawak PH MPs would be present, including Selangau MP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak chairman Baru Bian, during the announcement – set to be made on the sidelines of the Parliament sitting today.

“We want a fair and equitable sharing of oil wealth by the state and the special cabinet committee will look into that matter. The committee will also be formed in due course,” he told reporters the Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak headquarters here yesterday.

He also regarded the new deal as one of the ways for Sarawak to gain more devolution of power from the federal government, which the Sarawak government under Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) must accept.

Chong, however, made it clear that the oil wealth sharing arrangement in the ‘New Deal Agreement’ would not mean that the GPS-controlled Sarawak government could use the money any way it wanted.

“There should be terms and conditions should the federal government agree on some sort of oil wealth-sharing arrangement with the Sarawak government. The money is for Sarawak’s development and we must make sure it is for the people of Sarawak and the state’s development,” he said.

Chong also indicated that the deal to be offered by the PH federal government would be better than what Barisan Nasional (BN) had been offering to Sarawak over the past 45 years.

For the record, PH Sarawak made the ‘New Deal Agreement’ offer to be inked between them and BN Sarawak during the 14th general election to oversee the enforcement of MA63, which Chong claimed was rejected by the Sarawak government then.

He said among the reasons for the rejection was because the Sarawak government did not agree with PH’s condition that the money from the oil wealth-sharing arrangement should be spent on important matters such as education and health.

Attending the press conference yesterday were Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii, DAP Sarawak vice chairman Leon Jimat Donald, Chong’s special assistant Sim Kiat Leng and other DAP members.

Source : The Borneo Post Online by Matthew Umpang


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