Oil royalty and MA63 still on the table, says Sabah CM

(From left) Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Sabah Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal during the Malaysia Day celebration in Kuching September 16, 2019. — Bernama pic
(From left) Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Sabah Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal during the Malaysia Day celebration in Kuching September 16, 2019. — Bernama pic

KOTA KINABALU, Sept 19 — Addressing disappointment felt by Sabahans at the lack of “goodies” on Malaysia Day, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal said that the state was still in negotiations with Putrajaya over the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

Shafie said that Sabah’s claim for 20 per cent oil royalty and 40 per cent return of revenue was still on the table and progressing well.

“We are still talking. Discussions are progressing well. Some things have already been realised and given back to us, like Sipadan and Ligitan islands,” he said when speaking to reporters after launching Tourism Malaysia’s “Best of Sabah” tour packages at the airport here. 

He was asked to comment on the prime minister’s Malaysia Day speech in Kuching, Sarawak on September 16 which did not provide any insight on the two east Malaysian states’ desire for equal status and rights accorded to them.

Later, when asked about the lack of “goodies”, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that Sabah and Sarawak were among Malaysia’s richest states and any goodies would come with the rest of the country to avoid any disparity. 

Shafie said there would be another meeting with the prime minister to continue talks on these issues soon. 

“I will bring these issues up again,” he said, adding that other issues have been decided on but have yet to be announced.

When asked what was discussed between Dr Mahathir and the state Cabinet here on Tuesday, Shafie said they talked about matters concerning state and federal developments.

He said they also spoke about how important it is for the state and federal governments to work together for the benefit of the people as both have resources that would be mutually beneficial.

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