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Monday, November 14, 2016

Sabah should be treated as equal partners, business leader says

Sabahans want fair treatment based on Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), and hope Putrajaya will 'walk the talk', says head of KK Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

KOTA KINABALU - Sabahans are not thinking about seceding from the Federation, a business leader in Kota Kinabalu said yesterday.

Kota Kinabalu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KKCCCI) President Michael Lui Yen Sang said all that Sabahans wanted was fair treatment, The Borneo Post reported.

“What we want is for the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) to be restored. We want it to be upheld and put into practice,” he was quoted as saying.

Lui was commenting on Prime Minister Najib Razak’s speech at the annual Upko meet on Saturday in the Sabah capital.

Najib had expressed a willingness to discuss MA63 but urged against any talk of secession. The PM said any “misinterpretation” of MA63 could be the basis for talks.

Lui said it was good that the Federal government was willing to listen and discuss MA63 but cautioned that “Putrajaya must walk the talk”.

“This is the wish of the people in Sabah and Sarawak,” he stressed.

Lui pointed out that many people had repeatedly reminded that Sabah and Sarawak came together with Malaya (and Singapore), as four sovereign states, in 1963 to form the Federation of Malaysia.

This was opposed to the contention that the two Borneo states had joined the Federation of Malaya in 1963.

He cited the unanimous stand taken on MA63 by political leaders, community associations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

“Sabah and Sarawak are like shareholders of a company. What we are claiming for today is to be treated as equal partners fairly,” Lui said.

Sabah (and Sarawak) did not have its rightful status, and fair treatment, “as enshrined in MA63”, lamented Lui in referring to the passage of time.

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