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Mahathir denied Sabah, S'wak rights
Published on: Tuesday, April 24, 2018

BONGAWAN: Pakatan Harapan (PH) Chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is to blame for provisions in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) being usurped or their non-implementation in Sabah while he was Prime Minister for over two decades.

He neither gave much importance nor priority to MA63 provisions that concerned Sabah and Sarawak.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Datuk Seri Najib Razak has assured that any provisions pertaining to the rights and interests of Sabah and Sarawak stipulated in MA63 that were taken deliberately or have been overlooked during the tenure when he was not the Prime Minister, would be returned to both states.

"Although the mistake occurred not during his (Najib) time as Prime Minister, but under the former premier of 22 years, Najib has pledged he is committed to returning those rights as stipulated.

"When Najib said that we will return whatever in the MA63 that have been taken from Sabah and Sarawak, this means he is giving back those provisions that were acquired by the leader who ruled Malaysia for 22 years.

"This would include provisions in MA63 and any matters that have not been resolved, Najib will find ways to address and tackle those unresolved issues," Zahid, who is National BN Deputy Chairman, said in a leader-meet-the-people programme and launching of the election machinery of BN Kimanis at Tamu Square in the township, Monday.

Dr Mahathir is the PM-designate of the Pakatan Rakyat coalition that groups DAP, Parti Keadilan Rakyat, Amanah and Parti Warisan Sabah in the May 9 general election.

Over 3,000 people attended the programme where Zahid presented a cheque from the Implementation and Coordination Unit (ICU) under the Prime Minister's Department to BN Kimanis Chairman Datuk Seri Anifah Aman to assist churches in the Kimanis parliamentary and its two state seats, Bongawan and Membakut.

Also present were Anifah who is caretaker Foreign Minister cum incumbent Kimanis MP, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Yahya Hussin, Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister cum incumbent Membakut Assemblyman Datuk Mohd Arifin Mohd Arif, Assistant Minister of Rural Development Datuk Nilwan Kabang, incumbent Bongawan Assemblyman Datuk Mohamad bin Alamin, State Police Commissioner Datuk Ramli Din, Rela Director-General Datuk Zulkifli Abidin, heads of government departments and other officials.

Zahid who is also Barisan Nasional (BN) Deputy Chairman said BN's promise to implement and return rights of Sabah and Sarawak stipulated in the MA63 is not because this is part of BN's manifesto that must be realised or is pressured by the opposition.

Instead, he said, the promise is a proof of commitment and dedication of the Federal and State governments to fulfil the rights of Sabah and Sarawak as well as appreciating both states for forming Malaysia.

"For example, the 90 per cent policy of teachers from Sabah and Sarawak must be among Sabahans and Sarawakians that has reached 90 per cent in implementation in a short period which showed the commitment of the (Najib) government.

"Furthermore, the issue of oil and gas was also included in the BN manifesto. Prior to this, I saw Anifah brought up the proposal in the Cabinet meeting as well as his proposal on MA63 matters which was accepted by Najib to be among important elements in the manifesto," he said. Zahid said the opposition must also admit that all their complaints and claims related to MA63 are irrelevant because of taken action and implemented at Federal and State government level.

"The Prime Minister (Najib) has appointed Anifah to represent the Federal Government to study and scrutinise on those provisions pertaining to Sabah rights that have been taken and those that have not been implemented as stipulated in the MA63 while Sarawak was represented by Datuk Nancy Shukri in a Cabinet committee that was set up to look into the MA63.

"Therefore the slogan of Sabah for Sabahans and Sarawak for Sarawakians that have been chanted and upheld by the opposition are merely rhetoric," he said.

Meanwhile, Zahid said the people of Kimanis, including Bongawan and Membakut, should be proud of Anifah's performance and his ample achievements as the Foreign Minister who is well-respected at international stage not only among foreign ministers but also world leaders, including kings, presidents and prime ministers in other countries.

He said this is because of his (Anifah) commitment and voicing out Malaysia's stand in various important matters, including on Palestine and Rohingya.

He said Anifah is a commendable Kimanis and credible Sabah leader who has been persistent in championing international issues and had less time for family as he has to attend many international conferences abroad.

He said he is confident of the solid support of people in Kimanis, Bongawan and Membakut to ensure BN continues to win in the Kimanis parliamentary seat and its two state seats in the 14th General Election (GE14) although the candidates have to face a challenge by a former BN leader and deputy chief of Umno here.

"I would come here again to bring more development funds to fulfil the needs and aspirations of the people when BN wins the general election.

"It would be good and better if the majority votes for the Kimanis parliamentary and its two State seats in the GE14 are bigger. Hence, I want to see the majority votes in Kimanis increase to 10,000, while 7,000 in Bongawan and 5,000 in Membakut," he said. - Hayati Dzulkifli


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