KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 — Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem is displeased at the pace with which discussions on reclaiming the state’s rights as a founding member of Malaysia are proceeding, according to his deputy.
Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas, who expressed similar frustration, said Adenan will nonetheless continue discussions with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“Tok Nan is not very happy with the progress to claim the state’s rights.
“But similar to those issues with Petronas, he is doing all he can by discussing with Najib,” Unggah was quoted saying on Saturday by local daily The Borneo Post.
Uggah said the Sarawak state government is “positive” that matters previously agreed upon would be “sorted out” with Putrajaya, despite the state deciding against tabling a motion on Sarawak’s rights in the state legislative assembly sitting that kicks off today.
“I assure you all that Tok Nan is as committed as before to win back the rights of Sarawak,” he said, referring to Adenan.
On November 1, Adenan had said that Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing would table a comprehensive state government motion to reinstate Sarawak’s rights and 1963 status as an equal partner to Malaya instead of its current status as a state in Malaysia.
The motion was intended to be wide-ranging, covering Sarawak’s rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963, Malaysia Act, Inter-Governmental Committee Report and the Cobbold Commission Report, besides also touching on the Territorial Sea Act, Continental Shelf Act, Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution and the Petroleum Development Act.
But on November 16, Adenan said the state government decided not to proceed with tabling the motion to demand the return of Sarawak’s eroded rights, due to Najib’s remarks that the federal government was open for talks on misinterpretation of the Malaysia Agreement that was also signed by Sarawak and Sabah.
Adenan said then that he had met with the prime minister on November 12 for further discussions on the devolution of power to the state government from the federal government, adding: “We trust the prime minister to do the right thing and we have every confidence that he will do the right thing.”
According to The Borneo Post, six opposition lawmakers have filed for eight motions, with Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian for Ba Kelalan to urge the state government to restore Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to reinstate Sarawak’s status.
The Sarawak state assembly will sit from today until November 30.