Kota Marudu Member of Parliament

PBS committee studies devolution of powers

LABUAN: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), a component party of the Sabah Barisan Nasional, has set up a high-level committee to look into federal government devolution of powers to Sabah, said PBS deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili.

Ongkili (third left) and PBS members taking oath at the Kuala Penyu PBS Division’s 31st annual general meeting.
He said the committee, which is scheduled to hold its first meeting yesterday, had set a timeframe of 60 days to complete its discussions and draw up a memorandum to be submitted to the federal government.

Ongkili, who has been allowed by PBS president Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan to run the affairs of the party, said the committee would look into the 20-point Malaysia Agreement which had proposed the terms for Sabah’s incorporation into Malaysia.

He spoke to reporters after opening the PBS Labuan annual general meeting here on Sunday.

The high-level committee would be looking at the devolution of powers to the state and a review of the points in the agreement regarded as “weak, less or lost”, he said.

Ongkili said the move was similar to the action being taken by the Sarawak government on the issue.

Meanwhile, speaking at the launch of the PBS Kuala Penyu annual general meeting in Kuala Penyu yesterday, Ongkili said PBS has long defended and will continue to remain true to its struggle to fight for Sabah and Sabahans’ rights as enshrined in the Inter-Governmental Committee recommendations and Malaysia Agreement 1963.

Noting that PBS’ struggle is proven from the party’s many achievements since its establishment over three decades ago, Ongkili said they now need to further strengthen PBS for the good of the state and its people.

“We need to spread the message around and make people understand that we are sincere in our struggles. And we are looking for new talents to inherit these tasks,” he said.

As a multiracial party, Ongkili, who has been delegated the task of carrying the duties of the president, said apart from defending Sabah and Sabahans’ rights, PBS has also been defending the state’s security and ensure sustainable development for Sabahans.

“Other political parties are just learning what PBS has been doing all these while, especially that on the State’s rights.

“And other recycled politicians are re-promising what they promised when they were still in power but never did,” said the Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister.

Ongkili, who had just returned from Labuan to launch a similar meeting there and attended a briefing on power supplies and situation on the island, stressed that the islanders would also be enjoying similar benefits from PBS’ struggles.

“PBS will always defend Labuan’s interests and position as promised in federalisation agreement, including its duty free status,” he said.

Source : TheBorneoPost