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KOTA KINABALU, April 9 — Using the term territory means Sabah, Sarawak, and Peninsular Malaysia are three equal entities, said Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.
According to him, the term territory (wilayah), which Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin used recently to refer to Sarawak has caused confusion among the people.
“I think there is a need for a term that is concise and clear, so there will be no more confusion,” he said at the closing of the Agriculture Department’s annual meeting for the year 2021.
He explained the term territory meant by the prime minister refers to the sharing of the same status between Sabah, Sarawak, and Peninsular Malaysia.
“He (Muhyiddin) used the term to make a distinction between Sabah and Sarawak and all the states in the Peninsula. Now we are not talking about the state of Sabah or the state of Sarawak, but rather of the sharing of the same status as the Peninsula. This means that we are three equal entities,” said Dr Jeffrey.
He also explained that in the context of the formation of Malaysia, the three territories or regions were combined to form the new Federation.
“This means (the term territory or region) is not at par with the (status) of states in Peninsula. So, when he (the Prime Minister) used the term territory, it has to be viewed with a different interpretation — not like the Federal Territory of Labuan, which is also a territory. This is not what he meant. Because the Federal Territory of Labuan has a lower status than that of a state, but Sabah has a higher status than the states in Peninsular (Malaysia),” he explained.
“Perhaps, in the future, we will use Sabah and Sarawak and Peninsular (Malaysia). We will no longer need to use ‘the state of Sabah’ or ‘the state of Sarawak’ but just as Sabah and Sarawak. Then the interpretation would be as equals.” — Borneo Post