Dr M heads MA63 committee
Published on: Thursday, October 11, 2018

Selangor: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will lead the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) Special Cabinet Committee, which was formed to review and propose measures to rectify the status of Sabah and Sarawak.De facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong (pic) on Wednesday announced the line-up of the committee, which consists of eight federal Ministers.

They are Liew, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Works Minister Baru Bian, International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking and Transport Minister Anthony Loke.

The other members are Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Openg, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, Attorney General Tommy Thomas, Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Ismail Bakar and legal academics, such as Prof Emeritus Datuk Shad Saleem Faruqi.

"There are three levels: The first is the steering committee which has high-powered people in there; the technical committee, that I and the A-G will chair and consists of MPs from Sabah and Sarawak and relevant heads of department, and the working committee," Liew explained.

He added the steering committee will meet in a month's time, after which it will hold a meeting once a month for the next six months.

"Everything will be discussed, including the oil royalty and other developments," he told reporters after the "Law Reform Talk" at Universiti Malaya here, Wednesday, referring to Sabah and Sarawak's request to increase the oil royalty from the current five per cent.

"We do not want to go back on the historical aspect of the matter because some of the issues may be agreed upon without much dispute. We would like to go to the core of the matter straight away, mainly the implementation of the Malaysia Agreement."

Liew said the working committee consists of stakeholders and specialists from the legal fraternities as well as those who are deemed instrumental to the MA63.

"Everything is going full gear to ensure the restorations will be completed in six months' time.

"After six months, the report will be tabled... it could be shortened, but the six months is to look at the best way to implement MA63," he said.

Sabah and Sarawak have asked that they be recognised as equal partners as Malaya in accordance to the agreement made during the formation of Malaysia.

Meanwhile, the death penalty will be abolished and there should be a moratorium on all executions until then, said Liew.

He said the only issue was what to do with the convicts currently on death row.

"All death penalty will be abolished. Full stop. Since we are abolishing the sentence, all executions should not be carried out. We will inform the Pardons Board to look into various applications for convicts on the (death penalty) waiting list to either be commuted or released,' he said.

While the Government is studying certain cases, he said in reviewing the punishment, various aspects must be taken into account in ensuring an appropriate penalty was doled out to offenders.

"Drug-related offences will be different and consideration must be given to convicts who, for example, were drug mules, as compared to those who committed heinous crimes.

"We also need to comprehensively consider all cases, especially when it concerns the families of murdered victims,' he said.

Liew also noted that the Bill on abolishing the death penalty will be tabled in the coming Parliament sitting, beginning Oct 15.

Photo Source: Bernama


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