Deputy Minister: Return Sabah, S’wak rights since they are now recognised as regions

Rentap speaks during TSI Leadership Forum at Riverside Majestic Hotel in Kuching on Jan 14, 2023.

By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, Jan 14: Sabah and Sarawak’s rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) need to be returned since both have been recognised as regions.

Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports Sarawak Dato Gerald Rentap Jabu was responding to the recent remark by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi on the recognition of both Borneo States as regions.

In fact, the recognition has been constitutionalised following the amendment to clause (2) of Article 1 and clause 2 of Article 160 of the Federal Constitution.

“Our government now is known as the Sarawak government, no longer a State government. To differentiate the Sarawak government from the Federal government and any other State government, Sarawak through the constitutional amendment is recognised as a region that formed Malaysia.

“It is still the same in a sense, but we as Sarawakians must be proud that one of our struggles to reclaim back our rights under Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) has been achieved.

“Now it is up to the present Federal government led by the new Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) to return back other Sarawak rights including education and healthcare. This is necessary because we have been side-lined and given inadequate allocation for so long,” he told reporters after officiating at The Sarawak Initiatives (TSI) leadership forum titled ‘Borneo Youth: Agent of Change in a New Malaysia’ held at Riverside Majestic Hotel here today.

Rentap, who is also Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice president and Layar assemblyman, further said that since Sarawak is now recognised as a region, it needs a bigger budget than other states.

“Can you imagine if our budget is still the same amount with Selangor? That would be unfair especially when Sarawak is as big as the peninsula. So this sort of thing is what we wanted to be returned to us.

“If Sarawak is one of three regions that made up Malaysia, Sarawak should at least be entitled to one-third of the budget,” he added. — DayakDaily