KUCHING: There should be no further divergent remarks and the main focus must be on what Prime Minister Najib Razak has agreed with the chief ministers of Sabah and Sarawak on the federal government’s readiness to restore the rights of the two states under the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63).
Parti Pesaka Bersatu Bumiputera (PBB) Youth chief Fadillah Yusof, who is also works minister, said this was important so that all parties could move forward.
He said what was discussed by Sarawak’s fifth chief minister, Adenan Satem, with the federal leadership previously was being continued by current Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg.
“We still remain in Malaysia, but at the same time what we want is that what is enshrined in the agreement and provided for under the constitution is returned to Sarawak, that is all.”
He spoke to reporters after launching the “We Are Smart Consumers” programme at the PBB service centre in Samariang here yesterday.
He said this when commenting on the statement by the prime minister, who is also Umno president yesterday, at the close of this year’s Umno general assembly in the federal capital yesterday.
Najib spoke on the readiness of the federal government to sit down and talk to restore the rights of the two states under MA63.
According to Fadillah, the rights were eroded under a previous administration which resorted to the use of the draconian Internal Security Act (which has been repealed under the leadership of Najib) against anyone who raised issues related to MA63.
In fact, Najib had previously said on several occasions that the federal government was ready to sit down and listen to the Sabah and Sarawak state governments.
He said it would discuss with them to see if there were any state government rights that had been eroded and rectify the situation.
Fadillah expressed his appreciation over this and thanked Najib for addressing the issue.
He said for Sarawak, there were two stages of negotiations — that related to administrative aspects relating to the transfer of power; and negotiations related to legal matters.
According to him, the administrative aspects had been managed in line with the announcement of the late Adenan on 13 matters agreed to by the federal government to give more administrative powers to the Sarawak government.
This came after Adenan’s meeting with the prime minister, which was also attended by chief secretary to the government Ali Hamsa, Attorney-General Mohamad Apandi Ali, and state secretary Morshidi Abdul Ghani, earlier last year.
However, Fadillah argued that the legal provisions were still being deliberated as it was quite a “complicated” issue, requiring a more detailed study. According to him, what was important was the fact that the federal government was ready to negotiate on it
In KOTA KINABULU, Kota Kinabalu Umno Youth chief Mohd Bahrin Abd Karim said the readiness of the prime minister to return anything that rightfully belongs to Sabah, as provided for in MA63, is proof that the federal government is always willing to listen to the plight of people.
“MA63 actually is not an issue at all, but polemics deliberately raised by certain parties for political gain,” he said in a statement here today.
As such Bahrin hoped the open statement made by the prime minister would clear all doubts on the issue, which was being manipulated by the opposition.
“We welcome the prime minister’s statement regarding the MA63, as it shows that the leadership is proactive in matters involving the people’s interests.
“This clearly shows Najib’s concern in ensuring the people and state of Sabah would be accorded their rights, as enshrined in the agreement,” he said. – Bernama