KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Shafie Apdal is confident that Sabah will get back its ‘territory’ recognition.
Shafie was commenting on de facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong’s recent statement that a proposal to return the territory status to Sabah and Sarawak would be submitted at the Parliament next month.
“We have discussed this issue with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad during the recent Malaysian Agreement 1963 (MA63) meeting.
“Among the things that we have discussed were regarding the return of the territory status to Sabah and Sarawak.
“I am confident that the Federal Government has approved the proposal as per what was stated in the Federal Constitution,” he told reporters when met at the N.17 Tanjung Aru Chinese New Year celebration on Sunday.
Shafie said there is no need to conduct a voting process as all that is needed to be done is to enact the Constitution to ensure that Sabah and Sarawak would enjoy the same status as the Peninsular.
However, Shafie reckoned that it would take some time for Sabah to get back the status.
“It is going to take some time. There is no need for us to rush things. We know that we have waited for 60 years but Tun Mahathir has given us room to discuss and he has given us help,” he added.
Shafie also reiterated his assurance that the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) will not be expanding to Sabah.
He described Warisan and PPBM as ‘brothers’ without much differences except for their members who are comprised of different races (Warisan having members of different races and PPBM only having Bumiputera members).
He also said that the Warisan-led government holds two thirds of the total state seats (45 out of 60) and thus this indicates that Sabah is a stable state.
“So let us stick with what had been agreed upon,” he said.