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By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Feb 16: Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has dismissed Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal’s recent statement that Sarawak and Sabah are one territory.
“No, no, we will abide by the Constitution, and based on the Constitution, there are three territories, namely Persekutuan Tanah Melayu, Sabah and Sarawak. So, its three territories. So, we stick to the original constitution lah,” the chief minister told a news conference after chairing PBB’s supreme council meeting at party headquarters here today.
When asked for his views of what Shafie said, Abang Johari quipped, “That’s their business, not our business”.
Abang Johari was responding to Shafie’s recent statement that all parties must support the government’s efforts to restore Sarawak and Sabah status as one territory, which he claimed has been stipulated in the (MA63).
Shafie had said the matter was discussed with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad during a recent MA63 meeting.
“At that meeting, we brought up the status of Sabah and Sarawak as one territory. I am confident the federal government will approve this because it has been enshrined in the constitution and does not require any vote,” he told reporters after attending the Parti Warisan Sabah Chinese New Year celebrations at Tanjung Aru recently.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong was also reported to have said that the government would come up with a motion in Parliament next month to restore Sabah and Sarawak status as one territory.
On Sept 16 last year, during the Malaysia Day celebration in Kota Kinabalu, Dr Mahathir had announced that the equal partner status of Sabah and Sarawak in Peninsular Malaysia would be restored.
Meanwhile, Abang Johari declined to elaborate on Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS)’s recent meeting with him.
“PBS president (Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili) is a former federal cabinet member, so he came over to see how we are doing. Perhaps, they see that we are doing better,” he said.
Ongkili had led a high-powered PBS office-bearers to meet Abang Johari on Thursday. — DayakDaily