By Karen Bong and Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, Dec 31: Sarawak’s rights over land, continental shelves, and immigration are among matters accorded to the State under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) that are non-negotiable and will be strongly defended at all costs.
Reiterating this, the Premier of Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, firmly emphasised that Sarawak will never compromise on these rights and will continue to push for other rights enshrined under MA63 to be returned.
“We have plans for 2023, and as mentioned by (Dato Sri Abdul) Karim (Rahman Hamzah), we will enter a new era, and 2023 will also mark the 60th anniversary that Sarawak, together with other states, formed Malaysia.
“We will continue to develop Sarawak after 60 years, and we hope our rights as enshrined under MA63 will be given back to us when we reach 60th independence,” he said in his New Year message when officiating at the New Year Eve’s countdown at the Indoor Stadium in Petra Jaya here tonight.
Abang Johari stressed that there are matters in MA63 that are the integral rights of Sarawak that are non-negotiable, one of which is its rights over land and continental shelves.
“Second is immigration, and we will continue to defend and safeguard our immigration autonomous power. We will also safeguard our border, including the continental shelves.
“These are issues that we will never compromise because it is the rights of Sarawak, and we will defend it,” he added.
On economic development, Abang Johari pointed out that Sarawak will continue to plan well and push ahead with its levelling up agenda towards 2030.
“What’s needed is for all of us to be committed to working closely together and collaborating in 2023 until 2030 through the clear PCDS (Post-Covid Development Strategy).
“InsyaAllah (God willing), with all the support and our approaches to increase our human capital, I am confident we will get there by 2030 (to become an advanced State with high-income status),” he said.
Abang Johari hopes the new year will bring a brighter light to steer Sarawak’s development and progress for the future and children of Sarawak.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank all Sarawakians and wish all a Happy New Year. Let’s build a Sarawak that is prosperous, independent and progressive.”
Premier’s wife Puan Sri Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Bujang, Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and wife Datin Amar Doreen Mayang, Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, State Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki and Works Minister Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi were among those present. — DayakDaily