Anwar vows to solve MA63 issues
Published on: Wednesday, September 18, 2019
By: Hayati Dzulkifli
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Anwar cutting a cake with Sabah leaders at the event to commemorate the 20th anniversary of PKR Sabah.
Kota Kinabalu: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has pledged Sabahans and Sarawakians that their rights as stipulated in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) will be resolved once his turn to become the eighth Prime Minister (PM) materialises.

The PM-in-waiting said he would make sure any implementation related to Sabah and Sarawak rights would be in accordance with the MA63.

Anwar, who is also Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) President, said this in his speech at the PKR Sabah premier annual general meeting for all its divisions and celebrating 20th anniversary of PKR Sabah here, on Tuesday.

Some 2,000 PKR divisions’ delegates and supporters attended the event where Anwar also accepted 11,362 new membership forms to join the party from representatives of all the divisions in Sabah. 

“The Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced good news in Kuching, Sarawak, last night (Sept 16) about the MA63 related to Sabah and Sarawak.

“This (MA63 issue pertaining to Sabah and Sarawak) is not really a small issue but delayed for so long. There is a shortcoming or weakness (for its implementation) because the promise was not honoured.

“Tun Dr Mahathir takes this matter seriously and had formed a special committee by inviting the Chief Minister of Sabah Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and Chief Minister of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to be part of the vital committee so that they could jointly sit down to discuss the issues that concern their respective State’s rights and claims,” he said.

On Tuesday, the paper reported Dr Mahathir as saying that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration is determined to restore the status of Sarawak and Sabah as equal partners to Peninsular Malaysia in the Federation.

The status was changed in 1976 when both states were made similar to the other 11 states instead of being one among three partners in the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

He had said this was why it tabled the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 in Parliament last April, although it failed to pass through by not getting the support of two-thirds of the Members of Parliament, mostly Sarawak MPs.

Thus, Dr Mahathir said he hoped that the people and leaders of the two states can see the determination and sincerity of the federal government to place Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners to the peninsula at the formation of Malaysia.     

Anwar said the action taken by PM also showed that Pakatan Harapan (PH) Federal Government is serious in realising its commitment and I am optimistic that the people of Sabah and Sarawak understand that what have been committed will be carried out.

He said PH has been governing the country for 1 ½ years at Federal level and with alliance of PH-Warisan in Sabah. The time has come to show that the political culture has changed particularly to the young.

“There is a challenge for us which is to win…but we must bear in mind that the perception of young people on politics is not good. In the past, they used to perceive politics as dirty.

“Politics are also considered as unattractive and uncharismatic profession with low morale where the ends justify the means. The goal in our ‘Reformasi’ struggle has promised that we will not allow the wrong or bad way just to meet the means.

“We (members in PKR) can criticise or reprimand the President and give their views. They may agree or disagree with the party leadership but they must never betray the party and the leadership,” he said.

On the recent Umno-PAS pact in the Himpunan Penyatuan Ummah 2019 (Ummah Unity Gathering, last Saturday, Anwar who is also Port Dickson MP said such joint political cooperation was not a threat to PKR/PH and it was also not a big surprise.

This is because, he said, Umno and PAS did forge same political cooperation in early 1970s but later in 1978, the pact ended when Umno kicked out PAS, and now, both parties are making another attempt to seal its political cooperation, last Saturday.

If the Federal government and the State government here maintain to its policies and look after the wellbeing and interest of the people, boost the economic growth, ensure quality of the health and education for the people, he was confident there would be no place for Umno, PAS and Barisan Nasional (BN).

“I am reminding the members that PKR is a multiracial party and we believe that the people with various backgrounds including in Sabah determine the future and change of the political landscape in the nation.

“My task is to remind my brothers and sisters (in the party) that the ideals we cherish to always remain steadfast in our principles to defend the rights of the poor, underprivileged and marginalised people irrespective of colour and races. 

“If we see a person is being oppressed either they are Malays, Chinese, Muruts or Kadazans, our task is to defend his or her right that makes a difference between a struggle that is being defend and the positions of the rich and famous,” Anwar said.

PKR Sabah Chairperson Datuk Christina Liew in her speech said PKR Sabah was established on Sept 8, 1999 as a platform for the Sabah people to fight and uphold its ‘Reformasi’ struggle.

She thanked all the ‘Reformasi’ leaders and members in the party in Sabah whom have been patient in the party struggle for 20 years until finally the party become a part of the new Sabah government.

“We all know that main content of our struggle in the party is to ensure the ‘Reformasi’ agenda is realised in the new State administration which is only 1 ½ years in governance.

“Hence, I am calling on all to play their roles at all levels to assist the new Sabah government to materialise the changes that we have fighting for all this while,” Liew said.

Also present were PKR Sabah Deputy Chairperson Awang Husaini Datuk Sahari cum Putatan MP, State Finance Assistant Minister cum PKR Penampang Divisional Chief Kenny Chua, representatives of DAP Sabah and Bersatu Sabah in the event.


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