We will ‘renegotiate’ MA63 if PH wins in GE14 – Dr M

Dr Mahathir seen sporting a cap that read ‘Make Malaysia Great Again’ at the programme.

KUCHING: Pakatan Harapan (PH) vows to “renegotiate” the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) with Sarawak and Sabah if the coalition comes into power after the 14th General Election.

Its chairman and former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said it was timely for the MA63, which was an agreement between Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah for the formation of Malaysia, to be “renegotiated” to ensure that it will be fair to all the parties.

“By right, negotiation must be held among the three regions, but when we formed Malaysia, there is no longer any negotiation between Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia. What happened was we used Parliament to pass various laws and policies.

“(This resulted in) The three regions are no longer in power but the one that is in power is Parliament. In Parliament, surely, the number of representatives from Sabah and Sarawak is less than Peninsular Malaysia,” he said in a political rally at BDC here last night.

In citing the Petroleum Development Act that was passed in 1974 as an example, Dr Mahathir said during that time, there was no discussion between Sarawak, Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia.

“The one we had was Parliamentary meeting (sitting) which approved the agreement without taking into account the feeling of the people in Sabah and Sarawak. The reason is because in Parliament, the Peninsular Malaysian states have more representatives than Sabah and Sarawak. Therefore, every law introduced by the federal government is approved in Parliament.

“That’s why we found out that there was no negotiation regarding 20-point agreement for Sabah and 16-point agreement for Sarawak. If there was any negotiation, surely the agreement made between the three regions will be fair. But the negotiation was not held, only a Parliamentary meeting where the opinions of the people in Peninsular Malaysia had exceeded the opinions of the people of Sabah and Sarawak.”

Dr Mahathir, who is also Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman, noted that when the Petroleum Development Act was introduced, Tun Abdul Razak was the Prime Minister and therefore the allegation that he changed the law was not true.

 

“I was the Prime Minister for 22 years, but I did not change the agreement with Sabah and Sarawak. I was of the opinion that this agreement/laws must be renegotiated between Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak so that it will be fair.”

Dr Mahathir acknowledged that the people are also not happy about the current education system.

“In our agreement, the education system for Sabah, and Sarawak is different from the one in Peninsular Malaysia. So we will negotiate to give back the rights to have their own education system in Sabah and Sarawak.”

 

When asked by a member of he crowd on whether PH government would abolish Goods and Services Tax (GST), Dr Mahathir responded in the affirmative.

“I just want to point out, when I was Prime Minister, the price of oil was only US$30 per barrel and companies do not make more than RM200 million profit. But nowadays, although the price of oil had came down from US$120 to US$50, but it is still more than the US$30 that was paid for one barrel of crude oil.

“So with that amount of money from oil revenue and with the tax on the income of people, he (Najib) should have more money than we had during my time. During my time, the country was very poor but we managed to build many airports, even Kuching International Airport and Kota Kinabalu Airport were built. We also built new ports everywhere and we built the North-South highway. Did we ask you for GST? No.”

With the weak financial position of the federal government, Dr Mahathir wondered how much Najib could build the Pan Borneo Highway considering that the project will cost a lot of money.

“What is important is to build a new future. The present government has got no idea how to change for the good of Malaysians. Only we (PH) can because we can see the mistakes from outside. Already, people are suffering because the culture of corruption has spread throughout the country.”

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