Sabah Pakatan calls for more transparency on MA63 progress

KOTA KINABALU: The high-level government committee should be transparent on progress made on discussions over the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and make the final report public, says Sabah Pakatan Harapan.

The report should not be a secret as MA63 was a significant document in the formation of Malaysia and important for all citizens of the country, according to a joint statement issued by Datuk Christina Liew (PKR), Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau (Upko), Datuk Frankie Poon (DAP) and Lahirul Latigu (Parti Amanah Negara).

"It is an opportunity to educate and impress upon the nation and its people that MA63 is a matter of national importance and not only for Sabah and Sarawak.

"Its success will be a catalyst to drive Malaysia forward with its people united... as our forefathers envisioned when they signed the agreement in 1963," the leaders said.

The statement Saturday comes after Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (for Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said that there was no requirement to disclose discussions on the MA63 when it was still being negotiated.

Ongkili said that the reports were technical and involved confidential documents which needed to be protected.

However, he said the government would make announcements from time to time once they reach common solutions on the matter.

They said that it was important for the facts to be laid out truthfully as implementing MA63 was still a challenge 58 years after forming Malaysia.

A total of 17 out of 21 matters tabled by the Sabah and Sarawak governments at the Cabinet special committee meeting to review the implementation of MA63 were jointly approved under the Pakatan administration.

The remaining four issues pertain to oil royalty issues and petroleum cash payments, oil minerals and oil fields, Territorial Sea Act 2012 and state rights over the continental shelf.

They said MA63 has been discussed openly and there is no need to call on the Official Secrets Act.

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