MA63 talks between Sabah, S'wak and Federal Govt to resume after eight-month pause

KUALA LUMPUR: Talks between Sabah, Sarawak and the Federal Government is expected to resume next Monday (Nov 30) after an eight-month pause when the special council on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) meets, says Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili.

The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) said that the Sabah government had approached the Federal Government over the last two weeks to address several issues, including those related to the issue of natural gas.

"Any outstanding matters - including those that Sabah wants to raise - can be raised then," he said in his winding-up speech for the 2021 Budget in the policy stage on Monday (Nov 23).

The formation of the special council was agreed upon by the Cabinet on Sept 9 and was announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin during the Malaysia Day celebrations in Sibu, Sarawak on Sept 16.

On the meeting, Ongkili said the council would include Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Mohd Noor and the Prime Minister.

“Of course, we are thankful for the new government in Sabah as we can work well with them. There had been no discussions on MA63 for eight months as there is a need for close relations to address all the issues, ” he said.

Ongkili also said that it is not necessary to reveal the final report of the Cabinet Special Committee on the implementation of the Malaysia Agreement (MA63) to the public.

"It is not an inquiry. It is a ministerial meeting between Sabah and Sarawak state governments as well as the Federal Government," he added.

On the 20-point agreement, he said that most of the issues have been agreed in principle to be resolved, but cannot be seen as completely resolved due to the need for regulation changes.

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