Common Sabah - Sarawak goals on MA63
Published on: Friday, October 12, 2018

Kuching: Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said he and his Sarawak counterpart, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, agreed that whatever is due to both states as contained in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) must be complied with.He said while the interests of both Sabah and Sarawak must be protected, it must be looked at with the nation, as a whole, in mind and cordial discussions are the best way forward.

"We (Sabah and Sarawak) are on the same page in as far as the MA63 is concerned," Shafie told reporters after paying Abang Johari a courtesy call at the Sarawak Chief Minister's office at the Bangunan Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak, here, Thursday.

However, both Shafie and Abang Johari said they did not have sufficient time to discuss the MA63 issue in detail during their one-hour meeting.

Shafie said more can be achieved if the discussions were conducted peacefully but stressed that Sabah remains firm that a higher royalty payment on oil and gas must be based on gross.

"There must be some adjustment to the royalty pay out. It cannot remain the same (5 percent) since 1974," he said in response to a question by a reporter who had asked if the MA63 issue was discussed.

Shafie is on a two-day visit to Sarawak. Today (Friday) he will call on Sarawak Head of State Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Accompanying Shafie is his wife Datin Seri Shuryani binti Datuk Shuaib, Sabah Education and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob and Infrastructure Development Minister Datuk Peter Anthony.

Shafie said he had also made enquiries about the possibility of buying surplus electricity from Sarawak, saying this would be discussed in depth not too long from now.

He said if the price offered by Sarawak is competitive enough, it would make better business sense to buy from a neighbour rather than set up costly power plants.

"If we can purchase power from Sarawak at a reasonable price, then why not," he said, while saying Sarawak's production cost of power was far cheaper than that produced in Sabah.

Stressing the need for cooperation between the two states, he said Sabah was willing to encourage Sarawak to produce certain parts when the automotive sector in Sabah takes off. Tan Chong Motors has given indication that it intends to set up an assembly plant in Sabah for its 4x4 vehicles as well as trucks that are in demand in the Borneo states.

Shafie also said there could be joint promotions on tourism so that tourists visiting one state could go on to the other and vice versa. On Thursday night, Shafie and his delegation attended a State banquet held in his honour. -


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