SIBU: The Consultative Committee on Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) will hold a meeting on Thursday to discuss measures to regain Sarawak’s rights under the MA63.
State International Trade and E-Commerce Minister Wong Soon Koh said the meeting would be chaired by Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg.
“On Jan 3, the chief minister will chair the meeting of the Consultative Committee on MA63 to discuss how we can work hard to regain Sarawak’s rights,” he said at the 2019 New Year celebration.
In addition to state government ministers and state assemblymen from the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), the committee set up on Nov 6, also comprises two members representing Sarawak’s Pakatan Harapan (PH), namely See Chee How (Batu Lintang assemblyman) and Irene Chang (Bukit Assek assemblywoman).
Wong said Sarawak was aware that PH had promised to restore Sarawak’s rights and recognise Sarawak as one of the components of the Federation of Malaysia soon after taking over the helm of the federal government following the 14th general election (GE14).
In this regard, the state expressed hope that the PH government would fulfil its promises on the rights under MA63.
Wong, who is also second finance minister, said Sarawak was also affected by the current economic recession and this is expected to continue until 2020.
“Production of timber products is decreasing annually. In previous years, the royalty collection for timber resources was around RM800 million.
“But now it has been reduced by 50%. Now, we can only collect about RM400 million and even less than that.”
The poor economic situation has also affected the palm oil industry, shipbuilding and small and medium enterprises (SME).