Defending MA63 rights not a simple matter
Published on: Sunday, November 13, 2022
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Defending MA63 rights not a simple matter
Joniston: Shouting in parliament won’t do. - (Pic by cmsabah.gov.my)
Tuaran: The pursuit of State rights under the Malaysian Agreement 1963 (MA63) involves negotiations between the Federal and State Governments rather than with individuals.

Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) candidate for Tuaran parliamentary seat Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said discussions between individual leaders alone are insufficient because such a serious subject demands deeper collaboration and communication at the governmental level.

He said Sabah requires leaders who are part of the State Government and who genuinely put the interests of the people first, as well as those who will go to great lengths to gather evidence in support of the State’s claims under MA63.

Joniston, who is also Kiulu Assemblyman and State Assistant Tourism, Culture, and Environment Minister said this during his campaign trail at Kampung Sawah in Tamparuli here. 

“I am aware that some (candidates) have put up a manifesto advocating for MA63, but it’s important to keep in mind that negotiations between the State and Federal Governments are necessary for this kind of demand to materialise.

“We have a stable State Government that works in tandem with the Federal Government. The strong link that exists between governments is significant, and it should be leveraged to its full potential in the fight to push for state rights,” he said.

Joniston remarked that the Federal Government’s creation of the Sabah and Sarawak Affairs portfolio, headed by Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) President and incumbent MP for Kota Marudu Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, demonstrated a stronger understanding between State and Federal on protecting the rights as enshrined in the MA63.

He stressed that the GRS-BN state administration under the capable leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor would continue to fight for Sabah’s rights and support leadership that listens to Sabah’s concerns.

He then called on Tuaran constituents to throw their support to GRS in the forthcoming election.

Joniston is set to wrest the Tuaran parliamentary seat from incumbent Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau (Pakatan Harapan).

He will also face Jo-Anna Sue Henley Rampas (Warisan), Muminin Kalingkong @ Norbinsha (Parti Pejuang Tanah Air), Bobby Lewat (Independent) and Datuk Noortaip Suhaili (Independent).

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