Without PM’s post, Anwar can still fight for MA63, says Sarawak activist

Francis Paul Siah says Sarawakians are not convinced that PH can restore MA63 rights, but believes Anwar Ibrahim should be given a chance.

KUCHING: Sarawakians are still sceptical of PKR president Anwar Ibrahim’s pledge to resolve matters pertaining to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), says an activist.

Francis Paul Siah of the Movement of Change Sarawak said this was because there have been too many unfulfilled promises from the Pakatan Harapan (PH) leadership.

Siah said Anwar should not wait until he becomes the prime minister to resolve issues surrounding MA63.

“As a PH bigwig and a prominent figure in the PH presidential council, Anwar is powerful enough to accelerate the pace of discussions so that a solution can quickly be found,” he told FMT.

“Are all major decisions not made collectively by PH leaders?” he asked.

He said as Anwar himself meets the prime minister regularly, it should not be a problem for him to bring up matters, including MA63.

During his recent visit to Sabah, Anwar pledged to resolve matters pertaining to MA63 when he becomes prime minister.

The government has formed a Special Cabinet Committee chaired by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, to review MA63. The move is part of a promise to restore the rights of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners in the Malaysian federation.

Last month, the Prime Minister’s Office announced that seven of 21 issues on MA63 had been resolved following consensus between Putrajaya, Sabah and Sarawak, including on Sabah’s timber and forest resources and Sarawak’s electricity and gas.

Earlier this month, law minister Liew Vui Keong said the MA63 task force had submitted its final report to the Cabinet on Aug 31.

Siah claimed there was political intrigue and power play at work within the PH government.

But he said Anwar should still be given a chance.

“It is only fair that Sarawakians give Anwar a chance to make good on his promises to Sarawak,” he said.