Ongkili: No need for new Malaysia Agreement for Sabah, Sarawak

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili said it is better to study the MA63 and mend any weakness and see how it can help the people in Sabah and Sarawak. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili said it is better to study the MA63 and mend any weakness and see how it can help the people in Sabah and Sarawak. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KOTA KINABALU, May 11 — A minister said tonight there is no need to draft a new agreement to replace the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) which provided for Sabah and Sarawak to join Malaya in forming Malaysia.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili said it is better to study the MA63 and mend any weakness and see how it can help the people in Sabah and Sarawak.

He said MA63 is a very delicate matter which needs better understanding and all parties must be very careful in reading situations involving the agreement.

“It is like a marriage. You must first find out what is wrong with your spouse, what he or she did wrong and, if you have all the evidence, then you can file for divorce. It is the same in this (MA63) situation.

“Find out the wrongs in MA63 and, if the government fails to address any shortcoming, then maybe we can abandon the old agreement and draft a new one but it is also important to know what the implications are of abandoning MA63,” he said in a statement here.

On May 7, Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Jeffrey Kitingan said the country might need a new agreement for the three entities of Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia to form a Malaysia that forges a good state-federal relationship.

Ongkili said the present government is already managing the defects and correcting matters which have been identified by the working committees under the Special Council on MA63 (MKMA63).

“The present government is doing what was never done before — addressing the shortcomings — so do not talk about drafting a new agreement when you have not even done the necessary studies. Don’t stir sentiments just for politics.

“We must understand that the MA63 is part of the Malaysia Act which was approved by Parliament, as well as the Sabah and Sarawak state legislative assemblies. If we want to establish a new agreement, it needs to be tabled in Parliament and both assemblies for approval. It is a long process,” he said. — Bernama

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