By Ashley Sim and Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, Jan 19: Prime Minister Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim has affirmed that he guarantees priority to solve Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) issues.
Anwar stated this tonight when delivering his speech at the State Banquet Dinner for the Prime Minister held at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here.
“MA63 is one of the hot-button issues in Sarawak and Sabah. That is why I assured my friend Abang Johari (Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg) from the start that I would do my utmost.
“This is not a political statement, but rather a statement of conviction that we have been entrusted with the task.
“We must uphold the trust and will work together to resolve this issue,” he claimed.
He said that with everyone’s cooperation and a clear direction, one or two things for MA63 can be negotiated a little more.
“We are aware that Abang Johari is a tough negotiator as he is a strict individual. But I respect him because I’ve known him since the 80s; he’s an extraordinary individual who defends Sarawak’s interests and rights,” he added.
In addition, Anwar, who is also the Finance Minister, stated that the first step he took as Prime Minister was to address the cost of living, and that he then asked Deputy Prime Minister Dato Sri Fadillah Yusof to lead a special team to resolve MA63 issues as soon as possible.
“I acknowledge that previous governments, including former Prime Ministers and the Premier, made some changes, including constitutional amendments.
“But, with this opportunity given to me, I believe we must work hard not just to make promises and use political slogans to gain support from Sarawak GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak), but also to fulfil the trust that we take seriously.
“And that’s why, I have announced last week that we have decided to hand over the implementation of all projects below RM50 million to be handled directly by the Public Works Department (JKR) and the State governments of Sarawak and Sabah,” he explained.
Anwar added he will reveal more information about the other MA63 issues after chairing the MA63 Working Committee tomorrow (Jan 20) at the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Complex here. — DayakDaily