PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad says upholding and observing the Malaysia Agreement 1963 will enable the country to overcome any difficulty, paving the way for it to develop and progress.
He said it was true that discontent could arise among members in a “big family” but added that there should be a “converging point” so that the relationship was not torn apart.
“Because of that, we support the requests for Malaysia Agreement 1963, known as MA63, to be fully supported and we accept that the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak are three territories joined together as equal partners.
“I’m confident that if we can observe and implement the same spirit and agreement (of MA63), we can overcome every difficulty ahead of us,” he said in a Malaysia Day greeting posted on his social media.
Recounting the declaration of the Federation of Malaysia by the then prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, Mahathir said his emotions were mixed with both pride and anxiety.
“Pride, because Tanah Melayu will be with North Borneo, which was later known as Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore to form the big nation of Malaysia.
“But my heart was also pounding because the formation (of Malaysia) had received fierce opposition from several neighbouring countries,” he said, adding that he was 38 years old at the time.
Now, some 57 years later, the nation had gone far and through many things, including the departure of Singapore from the federation, he said.
“Singapore has left, but the strength of the peninsula’s relationship with Sabah and Sarawak has become all the stronger and continues to be forged.”