Sabah, Sarawak staying put in M’sia; PM says MA63 rights “always protected”

SARAWAK and Sabah, who, together with Malaya, established Malaysia in 1963, are determined to remain in Malaysia and ensure continued collective development.

Sarawak premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said the state would continue to hold fast to its vow to be together with Malaysia and develop based on the terms enshrined in the Federal Constitution, the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Inter-Governmental Committee Report.

He added that Malaysia Day is an important historical moment that is celebrated together to honour the struggle of past leaders and the people who overcame various challenges to achieve a free, sovereign and united country.

“Armed with nationalistic spirit and patriotism, Sarawakians of various ethnicities, religions and social backgrounds, will surely hold the theme of this year’s Malaysia Day, Keluarga Malaysia, Teguh Bersama, in high regard.”

Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg (Photo credit: Bernama)

“I believe the theme will complement the role and contributions of Malaysians, especially the youth, who will ensure the continued development of our country,” he added.

Abang Johari said this in a video that was broadcast during the Malaysia Day 2022 celebrations at Independence Proclamation Memorial Square in Bandar Hilir, Melaka, last night (Sept 17).

It was the first time in history that the Malaysia Day celebrations were held in the peninsular.

Similarly, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, in a broadcasted speech, said Sept 16 was a meaningful day for all Malaysians as it commemorates the founding of the country.

He added that even though the spirit of independence enjoyed today was the continuation of the generation who came before, it was something that ran through the hearts of all Malaysians, regardless.

“MA63 rights always protected”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob reiterated that the rights of Sabah and Sarawak as enshrined in MA63 will always be protected.

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (Photo credit: Bernama)

Ismail Sabri, who is also the chairman of the Special Council on MA63, said the council not only played a role in unravelling some pending issues regarding the rights and status of Sabah and Sarawak, but also emphasised efforts to develop the two states.

“At the Malaysia Day celebration last year, the Federal Government gave assurance to pay close attention to issues related to the interests of Sabah and Sarawak.

“Just like the Malay idiom bersukat sama paras, bertimbang sama berat, (given equal standing, as well as entitled to equitable sharing), the Government wants to see Sabah and Sarawak enjoy rapid development just like other states in the peninsula.”

The Government is also committed to eliminating the development gap, which was proven by the allocation of RM5.6 bil which was given to Sabah and RM4 bil to Sarawak this year to carry out development projects such as providing water supply, electricity and roads, as well as healthcare and educational infrastructures, he added.

The prime minister also pointed to the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2021 relating to the MA63, which was passed with a two-thirds majority voice in Parliament on Dec 14 last year, saying it was proof of the Government’s seriousness to strengthen the status of Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia.

He also noted that this was in line with the Government’s transformation agenda to restore the confidence of the public, as well as that of foreign investors, in the Government’s capability to ensure political stability and in national policies toward sustainable socio-economic development. – Sept 17, 2022


Main photo credit: Bernama

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