KUCHING, Jan 19 — The Federal government’s stance is that all agreements signed with Sabah and Sarawak, including the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), must be respected and fulfilled, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Anwar said that as the country’s number one leader, he was responsible for ensuring that the matter was resolved, and acknowledged that various efforts have been made by previous Federal administrations in this regard over the past few years, including amending the Federal Constitution.
“We need to try to resolve it (the MA63 issue) earnestly and not just make political statements or promises to get support from Sarawak or GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak).
“When we look at the state of development in Sabah and Sarawak, especially in the interior, I cannot deny that there are tasks that we have not completed well,” he said in his speech at the state banquet here tonight.
Meanwhile, Anwar said Malaysia was a federation and that the spirit of unity would not be achieved if the people’s feelings or sentiments were hurt.
“The leader’s job is to heal and not to add salt to the wounds, that is why I see this effort as part of fulfilling a responsibility.
“I am touched when I hear the complaints from Sarawak and Sabah or the minorities who feel that they are left out of the mainstream of development. This is not right, so we must treat (this situation),” he said.
The Prime Minister began his two-day maiden working visit to Sarawak today since taking office in November last year.
Tomorrow, Anwar is scheduled to attend the MA63 Implementation Action Council meeting, which will also be attended by Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg and Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.