KUCHING: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s assurance that the government promises to pay close attention to issues related to the interests of Sabah and Sarawak signifies the dawning of a new hope for the people of the Bornean states.
“We look forward to the fulfilment of the promises and trust that the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) Special Council, which is chaired by the prime minister, has the political will to right the wrongs in tandem with the spirit of MA63 in due time.
“It is long overdue,” said Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) vice-president and Women chief Datuk Seri Doris Brodie on Friday (Sept 17).
She said the people of Sarawak and Sabah were anxious for this matter to be addressed and resolved speedily.
“We have high hopes that the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob-led administration will put this matter close to his heart and amongst his most important agendas.”
She pointed out that it had been 58 years since Malaysia was formed – but sadly Sarawak, although possibly the largest contributor to Malaysia’s coffers via the state’s oil and gas, still remains the most lacking in infrastructure development.
Regarding the fresh federal allocation amounting to RM4.47 bln for Sarawak announced by the prime minister, which will be channelled as development allocations under the first rolling plan of the 12th Malaysia Plan, she said, “Although we are thankful, we still wonder if our vast geographical landscape and the lack of infrastructure development are fairly put into consideration when discussing the allocations.”
“Sarawak and Sabah comprise 60 per cent of the land area of this country while 40 percent of the land area is in West Malaysia. To uphold the spirit of MA63, the total federal allocation should be divided equally between the three regions, that is, Malaya, Sarawak, and Sabah.”
Doris said that since the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government last year, the Gabungan Parti Sarawak-led Sarawak government had also assisted in stabilising national politics from further turmoil twice, namely during Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Ismail Sabri’s administrations.
“In any case and on a positive note, I still think it is a good start.”
Meanwhile, Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah also said the prime minister’s announcement on the government’s promise and MA63 was indeed heart-warming news.
“It shows he understands the sentiment of East Malaysians and he is willing to listen and address issues close to our hearts, especially the still unresolved issues,” she said.