NGO thanks Dr M for restoring Sarawak, Sabah as equal partners with Malaya statement

Datuk John Lau Pang Heng

KUCHING, Sept 18: Sarawak Patriot Association (SPA) welcomes Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s statement on Sunday that the federal government will restore Sarawak and Sabah as equal partners with Malaya in the Federation of Malaysia.

“Members of SPA rejoice on hearing this long-awaited news. SPA would like to express gratitude and thank the prime minister for fulfilling his promise,” said its chairman, Datuk Lau Pang Heng, in a statement today.

“This is a significant step forward for the New Malaysia as the restoration of Sarawak and Sabah rights was also stated in Pakatan Harapan (PH)’s GE14 manifesto under Promise 40, which is to implement the 1963 Malaysia Agreement.”

To move forward, SPA opined that the federal government would need to amend the Federal Constitution and suggested that it include the interpretation of Sept 16, 1963, as the day Malaysia was formed.

“Sept 16, 1963, was the date where Sarawak, Sabah, Malaya and Singapore partnered the formation of the Federation of Malaysia. In accordance with SPA’s understanding, the Federation of Malaysia is a federation of nations rather than a federation of nation states. When Singapore separated from Malaysia in 1965, their parliament enacted the Singapore Separation Act 1965,” he said.

Lau hoped all Members of Parliament (MPs) would put their political differences aside and support the Bill to restore the rights of Sarawak and Sabah as equal partners in Malaysia.

“SPA would also like to add that the word Peninsular Malaysia has never been stated in the MA63 and the Inter Government Committee report 1962. MA63 stated that the Federation of Malaysia comprises of Malaya, including all the states in Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore. Thus, SPA is unsure if it is legally correct to mention that Federation of Malaysia comprises of Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah,” he said.

Lau also urged PH to fulfil their Promise 47, which is for the decentralisation of power to Sabah and Sarawak and that 50 per cent of the revenue collected in Sabah and Sarawak would be channelled back for development needs. — DayakDaily