KOTA KINABALU (July 6): Datuk Seri Dr. Maximus Ongkili called the recent proposal for a new deal with Malaysia “myopic” and said it would “not strengthen” the country.
Disagreeing with Umno Vice President Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, Prime Minister’s Department Minister (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) says Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) is a sacred founding document of the formation of the Federation of Malaysia.
“Which means, no MA63, no Malaysia. Additionally, with the constitutional amendment passed unanimously by Parliament in December 2021, MA63 is now part of the Federal Constitution.
“The proposal for a new deal with Malaysia, as suggested by Tok Mat and backed by Sabah’s Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Seri, Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, is simply short-sighted and would not strengthen Malaysia. “, Ongkili said in a statement today.
He pointed out that it was unthinkable for a loyal Malaysian to abandon MA63 instead of a new deal, the contents of which were not even reviewed.
“Will the new agreement reinforce the founding document of MA63, or abandon it? Based on limited exposure by proponents of the new deal, the mistaken thinking is to desert MA63 in place of a new one.
He agreed with Sarawak’s Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts, Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahmah Hamzah, describing the new proposal as a ‘crazy idea’ saying no one should change the deal fundamental that led to the formation of Malaysia.
Ongkili pointed out that to desert MA63 is to abandon the Federation of Malaysia.
“It is tantamount to breaking the ties that bound and united the Federation of Malaya, North Borneo and Sarawak in 1963, thus returning us to our original status and beginning a new search for our respective state identity.
“Is this what the Malaysians want? Be careful in what we expose in our search for our true nation-building. Be very careful when you utter thoughtless suggestions that will undermine what our ancestors and all of us have achieved in nation building.
“We must build for strength, peace and solidarity. We must avoid playing with semantics and politics,” Ongkili warned.
At the recent Sabah Barisan Nasional convention, Mohamad had called on coalition leaders to come up with a new Malaysian agreement as a more concrete path towards realizing the rights and demands of the state enshrined in MA63.