MA63 — Started by Sabah activist, continued by Tok Nan and Abang Jo

Dr Sim (fourth left) in a group photo with other SUPP leaders at SUPP 64th Anniversary celebration held at its headquarters in Jalan Tan Sri Ong Kee Hui on June 4, 2023.

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By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, June 4: Deputy Premier of Sarawak Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian has reminded Sarawakians of the importance of former Chief Minister the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem’s (Tok Nan) administration since 2014, which initiated the journey to fight for Sarawak rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

Sharing how it started, he recalled that Sabah activist, the late Zainnal Ajamain, launched the book ‘The Grand Design’ at Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) headquarters on July 9, 2016.

“Zainnal launched the book, and Adenan saw it and said, ‘Eh, I want to know more about MA63 (so) you go to your party’s archive and get all the notes for me’ (sic), and that is how Adenan started talking about MA63,” he said during SUPP’s 64th Anniversary Flag-Raising Ceremony held at its headquarters here today.

Today, Adenan’s legacy is continued by his successor, Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

Dr Sim, who is SUPP president, further described MA63 as an announcement to the world that Sarawak and Malaya were getting married.

“We had (sent out) lots of invitations, we cut the cake, and we had a big celebration, but after that, we never registered (the ‘marriage’ between Sarawak and Malaya).

“Sixty years later, you said you wanted a divorce? It was never ‘sah’ (official), so how can we divorce?

“That is why our journey of getting MA63 in the constitution started with Zainnal here (at SUPP headquarters), led and continued by Adenan, and we finally managed to have MA63 in the Federal Constitution in 2021,” he added.

He mentioned that with the MA63 now being recognised, Sarawak could demand its rights, including its money and autonomy in health and education.

At the same time, Dr Sim said Sarawakians should be reminded that Sarawak has made history with the formation of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) in 2018, highlighting the beginning of political and financial independence.

Meanwhile, in 2022, he said Malaysia had witnessed the “most divisive, most polarising and most politicking” period in the nation’s history.

“Thus, Sarawakians, we must look after ourselves and ensure that we get MA63 done as soon as possible,” he emphasised.

Amongst those present were SUPP deputy president Dato Sri Richard Riot Jaem, secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew, and Women chief Kho Teck Wan. — DayakDaily