Reclamation of Sarawak, Sabah rights among issues discussed during ‘Legal Year 2018’ event

Md Raus (front row, third left) leads the assembly of members of the legal fraternity at the Miri Court building compound, held in conjunction with opening ceremony of the ‘Legal Year 2018 for Sarawak and Sabah’ on Friday.

MIRI: The reclamation of the rights of Sarawak and Sabah as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) were among the issues highlighted at the opening of Legal Year 2018 for both states here on Friday.

According to Sarawak Attorney-General Datuk Talat Mahmood Abdul Rashid, the exercise on the devolution of power to Sarawak has entered the second phase, in which a number of constitutional and financial issues have been discussed – among them, the financial review under Article 112D of the Federal Constitution, oil and gas, territorial boundaries and several key points related to the constitution.

“Some issues have been agreed upon and are being pursued actively by both federal and state governments – some are still under negotiation towards finding an amicable resolution for both parties,” he said.

Talat also said the state government would much want these crucial constitutional issues to be resolved amicably without resorting to any legal action so as to not jeopardise the unity within the federation and the good relationship between the Sarawak and federal government.

“When these issues are eventually resolved, our nation would be more united and the state-federal relationship would remain harmonious.

“Thus, we hope the support and cooperation given by the Attorney General’s Chambers as the representative of the federal government would continue, in order to find a harmonious and amicable resolutions for both governments,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sabah Attorney-General Zaleha Rose Pandin said 2017 had been a challenging one, in that there had been much debates and discussions among the stakeholders and the public on issues regarding MA63.

“The (Sabah) state government has not been standing idle. In this respect, the state government remains firmly committed to reclaiming the rights of Sabah as enshrined in MA63.

“The state government (Sabah) has set up a special rights committee to look into this issue and the discussion between state government and the federal government on related issues is ongoing – I believe we are heading towards the right direction,” she said.

Chief Justice Tun Md Raus Sharif officiated at the opening ceremony of the ‘Legal Year 2018 for Sarawak and Sabah’ here on Friday.