KOTA BELUD: Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi gave his assurance that the rights of Sabahans as per the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) will be included in the Barisan Nasional (BN) manifesto for the 14th general election (GE14).
Zahid, who reiterated Prime Minister Najib Razak’s commitment on the MA63 issue, said he was in favour of having any rights in the agreement which were taken over or overlooked to be returned to Sabahans.
“We know some people are trying to promote ‘Sabah for Sabahans’, which is why MA63 is something to be championed by them. BN will assure that MA63 will be included in the manifesto and the rights of Sabahans will surely continue to be defended.
“Do not think that the BN government does not care about MA63. Because we are confident and believe in the prime minister’s commitment that anything in the MA63 that has been inadvertently taken over or overlooked will be discussed because the claims of Sabahans as enshrined in MA63 must be protected.
“If that has become an issue, and it has become BN’s concern, what else do they (opposition) want to raise?” Zahid said.
Zahid was speaking at a gathering with the people of Kota Belud in Kampung Kesapang here today.
Also present were Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and Kota Belud MP Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak and Deputy Higher Education Minister Mary Yap.
Zahid added that as deputy prime minister he would assist the prime minister in monitoring the implementation of policies related to the process of restoring the rights of Sabahans as per the MA63.
“This is the BN government. We fulfill our promises, we uphold what we say, the people will judge if we do not give our best performance,” he said.
However, Zahid said BN had achieved the best service performance for the people and the country since the last general election in 2013 based on the widely disseminated BN manifesto at the time.
“Aside from providing the best guarantees for Sabahans, we have implemented 97.6% of the promises in the last election manifesto,” he said.
Meanwhile, Zahid was confident that Sabah would continue to be under BN after GE14 based on the unity and co-operation shown by the BN component parties.
He said, although he was aware that incessant attacks were aimed at the Sabah BN leadership, especially against Musa, the BN government remained strong until today because of the support of BN component parties in Sabah.
“We will surely have enemies attacking. The history in Sabah has never been devoid of attack from enemies, either from the outside or from within,” he said.
According to Zahid, the attacks on Musa, whom he described as the “centre of gravity”, were only intended to disrupt the position of the Sabah Umno Liaison Committee chairman and the Sabah BN chairman who had succeeded in developing Sabah and helping the people of the state to prosper.
“Do not regard Musa as an individual. Musa is the main institution of leadership in Sabah and we must defend it,” he said.
Zahid also praised the state Cabinet line-up for standing firmly behind Musa’s leadership to make sure the BN state government remained steadfast.