PETALING JAYA: The appointment of deputy prime ministers from East Malaysia is “long overdue”, caretaker Sabah and Sarawak affairs minister Maximus Ongkili said.
Ongkili said his party, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), will fully endorse any proposal to appoint deputy prime ministers from Sabah and Sarawak.
He said the appointments would be in line with the Borneo states’ equal status as enshrined in the Federal Constitution and Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“After the 15th general election (GE15), PBS will propose this issue during the first meeting of the special council on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MKMA63),” the PBS president said in a statement.-
Ongkili said the appointment of deputy prime ministers from Sabah and Sarawak would represent a new Malaysia.
“It could be a major leap forward for Malaysia and I am confident that it will be unanimously agreed on by the MKMA63.”
Yesterday, Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi pledged to appoint deputy prime ministers from Sabah, Sarawak and the peninsula should the coalition win GE15.
He said BN would propose the appointment of three deputy prime ministers from each region to ensure that the people throughout the country were well represented.
Separately, Pakatan Harapan chairman Anwar Ibrahim said the coalition would appoint two deputy prime ministers if the coalition is voted into power in the coming polls.
He said there would be one deputy prime minister from Peninsular Malaysia and one from Sabah or Sarawak.
However, Warisan’s Azis Jamman said the people of Sabah cared little for the deputy prime minister’s post and instead wanted the immediate and full implementation of terms in MA63.
“We do not want sweet promises during this general election period that amount to nothing later,” he said in a statement. “We want equal rights for Sabah and Sarawak.”