FCAS urges federal govt to expedite restoration of Sabah and Sarawak state rights

KOTA KINABALU: The Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) has hoped that the federal government could expedite the full restoration of state rights of Sabah and Sarawak, as stipulated in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), which was signed by all parties concerned during the formation of Malaysia, back in 1963.


Its President, Tan Sri T.C Goh urged this while welcoming the historical signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Transformation and Political Stability between the Government and opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders, on Monday.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Goh thus urged the federal government and state governments of Sabah and Sarawak to immediately reactivate the special committee on Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and its three committees which are tasked to deal with matters pertaining to the Federal Constitution and equal status, security and immigrant issues and socio-economic matters including the implementation of 12th Malaysia Plan.

“This includes a proper clarification on former prime minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s declaration that Sabah and Sarawak are ‘regions’ and not ‘states’, which he made during his visit to Kuching, Sarawak, in last April,” he said.

He added that, besides this, the federal government must strive to ensure a proper and full manifestation of rights and privileges bestowed to Sabah and Sarawak which are stipulated in the MA63.

Goh who is also a member of Sabah Economic Advisory Council (SEAC) and President of the Federation of Sabah and Labuan Hokkien Associations (FSLHA) expressed regret that, despite changed of government leaderships many times in the past and recent years, MA63 which is an issue of great concern to the people of Sabah has remained unresolved till this day.

“It is especially important that all quarters involved must strive to address the ‘grey areas’ in the MA63 amicably and rationally, based on historical facts,” he stressed.

He recalled that, former prime minister had during his visit to east Malaysia in last April, announced that the MA63 special committee and its three sub committees had met and discussed reinstating state rights of Sabah and Sarawak under the federation. This included matters pertaining to the Federal Constitution and equal status, security and immigrant issues, and encroachment by foreign fishing vessels into Malaysian waters, etc.

He continued that, following the inclusion of MA63 issue in the MoU on Transformation and Political Stability, as one of its key agendas, the people of Sabah, the Chinese community included, are earnestly hoping that political leaders from both sides of the divide could strive to restore the state rights of Sabah and Sarawak, as agreed upon by the founders of our nation.

He acknowledged that there are still some outstanding matters which the MA63 special committee should further deliberate in order to achieve a satisfactory closure. The council comprises prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as chairman, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor and his Sarawak counterpart Datuk Abang Johari Openg as well as eight senior Cabinet ministers including Ongkili as secretary, and assisted by his deputy Datuk Hajjah Hanifah Hajar Taib.

Also in the council are the Chief Secretary to the Government, Sabah and Sarawak state secretaries, the Attorney Generals at Federal level and the two East Malaysian states, several senior civil servants and academicians.

Meanwhile, Goh who is also President of the Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) also welcomed and supported the expansion of the scope of the MoU on Transformation and Political Stability to include other important issues.

He described the signing of the said MoU as a noble move and a major political breakthrough, which reflected well on the conviction of policymakers from both sides of the divide, in placing the interests of the nation and its people above all.

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