KUCHING (Jan 20): Sabah welcomes the announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that all outstanding issues in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) have passed the discussion process and are now in the implementation stages.
“The only issue is on technicalities and we look forward to working with the Federal Government to ensure all our demands are fully resolved,” said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor.
He said the Sabah Government also welcomed the Prime Minister’s acknowledgment that Malaysia comprised three entities – Sabah, Sarawak and Semenanjung Tanah Melayu as stated in the MA63.
Hajiji said this after attending the historic MA63 Implementation Action Council
(MTPMA63) meeting together with Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Tun Abang Haji Openg chaired by the Prime Minister at the Sarawak State Assembly building here on Friday.
Accompanying the Chief Minister were State Secretary Datuk Seri Panglima Sr Safar Untong, State Attorney-General Datuk Nor Asiah Mohd Yusof and Finance Ministry Permanent Secretary Datuk Mohd Sofian Alfian Nair.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Fadillah Yusof and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali were also present.
The Prime Minister’s announcement that the MTPMA63 has agreed with the formula on the special grant for Sabah and Sarawak under Article 112D of the Federal Constitution was also good news, he said.
During the meeting, Hajiji had asked the Federal Government to expedite the review of Article 112D pertaining to 40 per cent revenue sharing formula and special grant.
Hajiji has also stated that Sabah is maintaining its stand in rejecting the Territorial Sea Act 2012 which limits the state’s maritime boundary to only three nautical miles.
“The Act has impeded Sabah’s ability to impose its own laws on matters beyond three nautical miles. For example, on cases involving Sabah State sales tax and Sabah authorities’ power on immigration issues.
“Sabah opined that its sea boundary should be more than 200 nautical miles per The North Borneo (Alteration of Boundaries) Order in Council 1954,” he said.
On the handing over of the electricity regulatory power to Sabah, Hajiji was grateful for the sensitivity of the Prime Minister in wanting to get it finalised by Jan 1, 2024.
On Sabah’s request for the construction of a Customs, Immigration, Quarantine and Security (CIQS) facility as well as roads at the Malaysia – Indonesia borders in Bantul (Pensiangan) and Serudong (Kalabakan) to be given special consideration to take advantage of the shifting of Indonesia capital to Kalimantan, Anwar said an allocation of RM1 billion has been given to carry out initial works.
“The Sabah Government has complete confidence and trust that under Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s leadership, Sabah’s MA63 demands will be resolved amicably soon.
“This is for the mutual benefit of both State and Federal governments in our efforts to bring progress and prosperity throughout the country for people,” said Hajiji.