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MA63 discussion to be expedited, says Fadillah

12 Mar 2020 / 17:20 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will meet with Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Abang Openg as soon as possible, to discuss the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) party whip, and senior minister of the new Federal government, Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, said he had voiced the importance of MA63 to the prime minister during the first Cabinet meeting held yesterday, and the need to give Articles 1(2) and 160 of the Federal Constitution, a relook.

“In principle, the Prime Minister has agreed to give priority to incorporating MA63 into the Constitution, and the rights of Sabah and Sarawak will be returned to these states as agreed before,“ he said during a press conference after a post-Cabinet meeting today.

Fadillah, who is also the Works Minister, said from an administrative aspect, the matter had already been agreed upon and now, the focus was on the legal aspect.

Article 1(2) describes the states in the Federation including Sabah and Sarawak, while Article 160 describes the meaning of various terms used in the Federal Constitution.

Yesterday, Muhyiddin said the government agreed to a meeting to be held with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs), Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili to discuss several matters such as MA63.

Asked whether the discussion would include the issue of oil royalties, Fadillah said the matter would be looked at based on the Constitution.

“Oil royalties is something promised by the Pakatan Harapan government which had previously said it would give 20% of oil royalties and return 50% of taxes collected in Sabah and Sarawak.

“That was their (Pakatan Harapan) promise previously. That is not in the context of the Perikatan Nasional government but what is important, is giving MA63 a relook for recognition by the Federal government,“ he said. - Bernama

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