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MA63 focus for opposition’s GE14 manifesto in Sabah

 | August 12, 2017

Pakatan Harapan parties discussing contents of manifesto, including ensuring share of tax revenue, education and health autonomy, and greater oil rights, among others.

ma63-sabah-sarawak

KOTA KINABALU: All Pakatan Harapan (PH) parties in Sabah have agreed that the state’s right under the historic Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) will be the focus of its special manifesto for the state in the next general election (GE14).

PH’s presidential council had previously been reported as saying that it wanted to formulate a manifesto specifically for the states of Sabah and Sarawak.

The coalition’s chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad said it was focusing on the two East Malaysian states and had discussed them at length during a meeting earlier.

“We have already submitted our request and highlighted all our problems and we are positive that Sabah and Sarawak will get a better deal.

 DAP's Wong says PH is asking for 50% of taxation (revenue) and empowerment in education and health.

DAP’s Wong says PH is asking for 50% of taxation (revenue) and empowerment in education and health.

“We have included all that is in the MA63, including oil royalty and taxation rights and more. We are asking for 50% of taxation (revenue) and empowerment in education and health,” Sabah DAP chairman Stephen Wong told FMT.

Sabah DAP also wanted the manifesto to pay attention to the need to reinstate in law Sabah as an equal partner or territory to the federation of Malaysia and other rights instead of leaving it to the mercy of ministerial discretion.

“We want to reinstate Sabah as one of the three territories instead of one of the 13 states. Of course, it is not easy but we are fighting for every inch of our rights.

“And we want the law to be amended to comply with these and we won’t accept just verbal promises,” Wong said adding that the coalition leaders from Sabah are currently in negotiations over the terms of the manifesto.

 " We want to take back our rights where possible under the MA63. This is our top priority, " says PKR's Liew.

” We want to take back our rights where possible under the MA63. This is our top priority, ” says PKR’s Liew.

Sabah PKR chairman Christina Liew echoed Wong’s statement and said her party will meet and discuss the various elements to be included in the manifesto in greater detail.

“We want many things of course. But first things first, we want to take back our rights where possible under the MA63. This is our top priority.

“Other things include education and health. I have specifically asked to set up the ministries of education and health in Sabah. PKR will meet to fine tune the details on this issue,” Liew told FMT.

She added that the manifesto will be inclusive and take into account the rights that have been lost or eroded over the last 54 years since the formation of Malaysia.

“It is high time to raise these issues and recover what we lost and move on. If not now when? If we don’t push for these, the future of Sabah is bleak.”

Meanwhile, Sabah Amanah chairman Hamzah Abdullah told FMT the party will fight for Sabah’s full control of oil and gas revenue.

“It is clear that Sabah Amanah and its PH partners will demand Sabahans’ rights as enshrined in the MA63.

“The status of Sabah as a territory must be reinstated and it’s not only a matter of our autonomy that must be respected by the federal government, but it has to encompass the power to determine the revenue from oil and gas from its soil,” Hamzah said.

With Sabah Amanah’s proposal for the manifesto already submitted to the coalition’s leadership, he said the coalition will push for the rakyat’s rights to free education that should have been provided by Yayasan Sabah.

“If we are given a mandate in Sabah, for starters, we will make sure the people’s rights within the control of the state, such as free education will be implemented.”

According to Hamzah, Yayasan Sabah was founded originally with the aim to provide free education.

“Its founder Tun Datu Mustapha Harun gave an annual dividend of RM300 to Sabahans under 21 years of age. We will have this again.

“With Yayasan Sabah’s vast timber wealth and original purpose to provide free education, Sabahan students will not need to borrow from the PTPTN (National Higher Education Fund Corporation) any more.

“The same with the right to native customary land. We will expedite this as this is within Sabah’s purview,” he said.

PH wants specific manifesto for Sabah and Sarawak

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