Muhyiddin calls, recognises Sarawak as a region based on MA63

Muhyiddin delivering his speech during the townhall session at BCCK today (April 1, 2021). Photo courtesy of Information Department (Japen).

By Ling Hui and Cornelius Kadir Edison

KUCHING, April 1: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has acknowledged Sarawak as a region according to the MA63 instead of just a state.

He spoke of his multiple visits to Sarawak before today as he described how hard it could be for someone from Peninsular Malaysia to travel to all the places in Sarawak which is a huge region in the north of Malaysia.

“Maybe Sarawakians like the Chief Minister have done it, but for someone from the peninsula to come here and cover the whole of this north State which is called a region in MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963), which I recognise, is not easy,” he said when attending a townhall session at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here today.

Touching on MA63, he noted the establishment of the Special Council on MA63 (MKMA63) by the federal government to ensure the fine examination of all related matters to guarantee the fair and equitable rights of Sarawakians be preserved continuously.

Through MKMA63, he said, the federal government has been looking into matters relating to the rights of both Sarawak and Sabah with some progress already achieved, on proposed solutions to specific issues such as legislation for allies, state security and socio-economic matters.

He asserted that all these are done in line with the rights of Sarawak and Sabah within Malaysia’s legal and constitutional framework.

“I want to say that the federal government examines all proposals fairly. Whenever it is not fair, we sit down together with the representatives from the federal and State governments.

“Very, very smart representatives from the State, that I can say. I recognised that when I told my ministers to be careful,” he said.

Aware that Sarawak representatives have always known and understood their own rights very well, Muhyiddin said he had cautioned the federal government representatives not to underestimate them while practising fairness at all times.

With that, he said the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government is looking forward to further improving the relationship between the federal and State governments, creating a more solid footing based on mutual respect and understanding.

Also present at the function were Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, and Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan and Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing. — DayakDaily