Fadillah says to focus on what have been agreed to in Malaysia Agreement

Fadillah said the ministry welcomed the ban proposed by the Malaysian Highway Authorities. — Picture by Nazerul Ramli
Fadillah said the ministry welcomed the ban proposed by the Malaysian Highway Authorities. — Picture by Nazerul Ramli

KUCHING, Dec 10 — There should be no further divergent remarks but focus on what Prime Minister Datuk Seri 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), said Parti Pesaka Bersatu Bumiputera (PBB) Youth chief Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.          

Fadillah, 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, the Tan Sri Adenan Satem with the federal leadership previously was being continued by current Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Dr Abang Johari Tun 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 told reporters after launching the “We Are Smart Consumers” programme at the PBB Service Centre in Samariang, here today.          

He said this in 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 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eroded under a previous administration which resorted to use of the draconian Internal Security Act (which has been repealed under the leadership of Najib) against anyone who raised issues related to MA63.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 and to 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, namely, 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, in Adenan’s meeting with the Prime Minister, which was also joined by Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali, and State Secretary, Tan Sri Morshidi Abdul Ghani, earlier last year.

However, he argued that the legal provisions were still being deliberated as it was quite a ‘complicated’ issue, requiring a more detailed study, but according to him what was important was the fact that the federal government was ready to negotiate on it

In Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu Umno Youth chief Mohd Bahrin Abd Karim  said the readiness of the Prime Minister to return anything that rightfully belongs Sabah as provided for in MA63 is proof that the federal government is always willing to listen to the plight of people.

“MA63 is actually is not an issue at all, but polemics were deliberately raised by certain parties for political gain,” he said in a statement here today.

As such Mohd 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 that the people and state of Sabah would be accorded their rights as enshrined in the agreement,” he said. — Bernama