The Sarawak government is pulling a political stunt by sending a delegation to London for clarification on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), Amanah deputy president Salahuddin Ayub said today.

Salahuddin said Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg cannot say that the state does not know what its rights are under the agreement, after close to 55 years in the federation.

“This purported research that is to be done in London is a political show by the BN-led Sarawak government to convince the people that the state is making demands from the federal government. It is a useless endeavour and a waste of taxpayers’ funds.

“Unless Abang Johari does not believe the lawyers appointed by Putrajaya to advise on MA63 that he has to refer the matter to London,” Salahuddin said in a statement.

He also demanded that the state reveals how much it is spending on the London trip.

This comes after Abang Johari condemned Salahuddin for claiming that Sarawak was trying to seek foreign intervention on the matter.

Last Saturday, Abang Johari said an assistant minister of Sarawak, Sharifah Hasiah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, would lead a team of lawyers on a one-week trip to London to search for and study any references related to the state’s rights under MA63.

The Malaysia Agreement provided for the joining of Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo (now known as Sabah) and Sarawak into the Federation of Malaysia. Singapore left the federation in 1965.

Salahuddin also said that there were far more urgent matters for the state to focus on, including the goods and services tax and tourism tax, which directly affect the people.

“The Sarawak BN MPs not only failed to oppose the move but voted to support the policies in the last Dewan Rakyat sitting.

“This is why it is impossible for Sarawak to make concrete demands on the federal government as long, for as it is governed by the same coalition as the federal government,” he said.

– M’kini