Sunday, December 5, 2021

MA63: Sarawak’s struggle for the interest of the state

Secara Rawak

KUCHING: The struggle of Sarawak’s people to regain their rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) which has eroded over the years is not solely in the interest of the state, said Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg.

He said the greater purpose and intention of the struggle is to further strengthen the identity of Sarawakians as part of Keluarga Malaysia.

“We in Sarawak believe that as part of the Malaysian family envisioned by the prime minister, our family members in other states will better understand the fight for our rights as members of Keluarga Malaysia in the context of MA63,” he said as quoted by Bernama.

Speaking at the Keluarga Malaysia launching ceremony officiated by Ismail Sabri Yaakob in Kuching yesterday, Abang Johari said the prime minister’s agreement to amend the Federal Constitution was in line with the spirit of MA63 and the privileges accorded to Sarawak and Sabah.

“(This) is a very good start to listening to and considering the requests of our Malaysian family members from Sarawak and Sabah,” he added.

Abang Johari said the Federal Government had implemented various development programmes in Sarawak, including the Pan Borneo Highway project, but so far that might not be enough to ensure Sarawak could catch up with the level of development in the peninsula.

“As the head of the Sarawak government, I see that different methods should be planned to raise the economic status of the state because the economic fundamentals of this state are quite different from those in the peninsula,” he added.

According to Bernama, the chief minister hoped that the Keluarga Malaysia approach could look into the differences and plan development policies that are appropriate to the situation in Sarawak and Sabah so that these regions could develop faster in the same vein as the peninsula.

“I consider (the concept of Keluarga Malaysia) a sincere desire of the prime minister to see all Malaysians continue to be united as one big family for the progress of the country, and as a powerful weapon in facing the challenges of the present and the future,” he added.

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