KUCHING: State Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders have welcomed the readiness of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to discuss the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) supreme council member Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the readiness shown by Najib showed that the Prime Minister is practical.
“I am sure he can feel how the people of Sarawak and Sabah feel. It is good for him to reciprocate and come up with this statement that he is willing to discuss with Sabah and Sarawak leaders on MA63 if this agreement had been misinterpreted by Putrajaya all these years,” he said yesterday.
“I am sure this statement from him will go a long way in building a more prosperous and united Malaysia.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing, who is Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president, said that the form of discussion between the federal government and state governments of Sabah and Sarawak must done in the right manner.
“In what form (will the discussions be held); within the four walls, or in the open via the State Legislative Assemblies of Sabah and Sarawak. This we need to know,” he said.
“I would prefer the discussion on MA63 within the four walls. Then, Putrajaya and the two East Malaysia states will have serious and meaningful discussions on important matters without input from the opposition, who will certainly politicise the matters just for the sake of publicity.”
He feared that if the discussion is done via the State Legislative Assembly, nothing concrete will take place but just noise and manoeuvring to score political points by the opposition.
When officiating at the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) national convention in Penampang, Sabah yesterday, Najib said he is ready to discuss MA63 with Sabah and Sarawak, stressing that his door is always open to leaders from East Malaysia.
“If the Malaysia Agreement as a document … if a part of our Constitution had been misinterpreted, the door is always open for us to discuss (the matter) in the Barisan Nasional family.
“I have an open mind. I do not want to take the rights of Sabahans, in fact I want to defend them,” he said.