Sarawak, Sabah no longer states but regions within Malaysia, says Zahid

Ahmad Zahid addressing the 2022 Umno general assembly held at the Kuala Lumpur World Trade Centre today (Jan 13, 2023). Photo credit: Zahid Hamidi Facebook page

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Jan 13: The status of Sarawak and Sabah should no longer be regarded as states, but regions within Malaysia, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

As such, Ahmad Zahid, who is United Malays National Organisation (Umno) president, emphasised that the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) needs to be implemented immediately.

“Umno is very supportive of MA63 being translated for implementation by the unity government.

“The unity government today has considerable legal and moral obligation towards Sabah and Sarawak,” he said in his policy speech when addressing the 2022 Umno general assembly held at the Kuala Lumpur World Trade Centre today which was broadcast live through his social media page.

Noting that there are some essential matters in MA63 that have been resolved, the Minister of Rural and Regional Development however said that there are still matters which form the basis of the MA63 that needed to be translated for implementation.

He stressed that realising MA63 is crucial considering the relocation of the Indonesian capital to East Kalimantan that will position Sabah and Sarawak regions to become more strategic to be developed as new growth areas.

“The overflow of development in Kalimantan needs to be worked on immediately, so that Sabah and Sarawak will develop more rapidly.

“Since 1963, Sabah and Sarawak have contributed a lot to the country’s economic development, and now is the best time for us to accelerate development in both Sabah and Sarawak, in line with the overall development in the entire Borneo archipelago, including Kalimantan, Indonesia,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid also mentioned that Umno recognised that Sabah and Sarawak are its strategic political partners or allies.

“As such, no matter what form is the Malaysia government now and in the future, Umno will still choose to be together with its political friends from Sabah and Sarawak for the sake of Malaysia’s political stability,” he added. — DayakDaily