CM confident of return of ‘one territory’ status
Published on: Monday, February 11, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal is confident that the Federal Government will approve the proposal to return the status of Sabah and Sarawak as one territory in Parliament in March.

“We have discussed the matter with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad during a meeting on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63). I am confident the Federal Government will approve this because it has been enshrined in the constitution and does not require any vote,” he said.

He was commenting on a statement by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Liew Vui Keong, that the Government would come up with a motion in Parliament next month to restore Sabah and Sarawak status as one territory.

“It does not have to be voted, just enact it and make sure the position returns to what it was. The standing is that Sabah and Sarawak stand just like the peninsula,” he told reporters after attending the Parti Warisan Sabah Chinese New Year celebration at Tanjung Aru, here, Sunday.

He said many more matters have to be carried out to restore the rights of Sabah and Sarawak as stipulated in MA63, but it takes time.

“We know we have waited 60 years but Dr Mahathir has been accommodating and has given us room to discuss and we also help him on this,” he said. 

Reassuring that it will be there, he called on all parties to support the Government’s efforts to restore Sabah and Sarawak status as one territory.

On another matter, Shafie said he met with Dr Mahathir on several occasions and indicated his opinion of not wanting Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) to enter Sabah. 

He said this when asked about Dr Mahathir’s recent statement that Bersatu has not decided yet to spread its wings to Sabah, which contradicted his (Dr Mahathir) previous statement. 

“I indicated our stand to him (Dr Mahathir). The best thing is to uphold the promise made prior to the 14th general election and to stick with what has been discussed before this,” he said. 

Stressing that Warisan and Bersatu are like siblings, Shafie said:

“There is no difference, the presence of Warisan in Sabah is just like Bersatu, the only difference is that Warisan is a multiracial party while Bersatu is not.  

“We are well aware of the Bumiputera support for Warisan from the West Coast to the East Coast, but that does not mean there are no non-Bumiputera.”  

He said Sabah is a stable State, with the Warisan-led government having a two-thirds majority or 45 out of 60 seats. 

“So, I hope we stick to what we have already agreed upon because we need to focus on the needs of Sabah first.”  - Sherell Jeffrey 


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