PENAMPANG: Barisan Nasional (BN) deputy chairman Mohamad Hasan has suggested a New Malaysia Agreement as a more concrete way forward to realise the state’s rights and demands instead of the 1963 agreement that led to the formation of Malaysia.
He proposed that Sabah BN leaders put forward the proposal for a New Malaysia Agreement, underpinned by a new spirit, context and aspirations in restoring the rights and interests of Sabah and strengthening the Malaysian federation.
Sabahan leaders have been negotiating with federal officials on reinstating the state’s rights under the 1963 agreement (commonly referred to as MA63) which they said have been neglected.New FMT Mohamad, who was opening the Sabah BN convention, said: “We must have a way out of this issue. It has been going on for so long and the people of Sabah want a concrete way forward.
“At this current level of negotiation, I don’t think it will lead to the expected understanding and agreement.
“Maybe we need a new agreement. In my opinion, the spirit and aspiration of MA63 are in a very different context. Times have changed. Malaysia is also a lot different now.
“The future is full of secrets and extraordinary potential. We must look at everything in the context of the future, no longer looking at the historical past,” said Mohamad, who is familiarly known as Tok Mat.
He said Sabah BN needed to submit its plans on developing Sabah’s economic potential in line with the party’s desire to develop Sabah into a new economic power for Malaysia.
He said Sabah’s strategic location and shared borders with the Philippines, Brunei and Indonesia should be used as a catalyst to further strengthen the state’s development.
“New potential and resources must be explored. The transition to the future economy, in various basic sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, tourism and industry, must be mainstreamed,” he said.
He added that Sabah was a very important state in the effort to form a stable BN government. “Without seats from Sabah (for BN), instability will continue to be part of the Malaysian political landscape,” he said.