KOTA KINABALU (July 16): Less talk and more action when it comes to fulfilling matters in the Malaysian Agreement 1963 (MA63) that were previously agreed on, says Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.
Shafie, who is also Senallang assemblyman, said the current State government leaders should prioritise on taking back Sabah’s rights as enshrined in MA63 rather than arguing over who has executed more or otherwise.
“We already have a minister appointed to oversee the MA63 implementation, which is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah, Sarawak Affairs and Special Functions) Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali, so there is no need to say much.
“He has the power and authority to implement, while we do not. Armizan should do what needs to be done so that we can realise MA63 instead of having a measuring contest over who has achieved more,” he said this on Saturday when visiting Tanjung Aru low-cost flats residents who will be evicted by the end of this month.
Recently, Armizan had denied that Warisan had achieved 17 out of 21 matters in MA63 when the local party was the government.
Shafie clarified that the 17 matters were not solved but rather agreed on.
“When I was the Chief Minister, the Federal Government had agreed to 17 matters at the committee level which was chaired by then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. They were agreed on, not resolved.
“This includes matters relating to Sipadan and Ligitan, land, health, safety, labour, and judicial rights of Sabah and Sarawak. Some of the matters have not been resolved, such as the state taking back Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB),” he said.
Regarding the SESB issue, Shafie cautioned the State government to not simply take over SESB without very careful planning due to its annual RM2 billion debt, as he worries on who will pay or how the debt will be repaid if the plan comes to fruition.
Shafie had dispensed his advice through an analogy – “Before we buy a car, we have to check if it is in good condition. Check its tyres, engines and other parts. We do not want to buy a car just to have it break down a day after. Be smart about it.”
Meanwhile, when questioned on Armizan and Warisan information chief Datuk Azis Jamman’s wish to debate on issues relating to MA63’s special committee, Shafie said they are free to do as they wish but he prefers to focus on more pressing matters.
“If they want to have a debate, it is up to them. But what is far more important than debating is fulfilling and implementing what has been enshrined in MA63. Malaysia would not come to be if the agreement is not cherished. We have to remember that,” he said.