Academic cites commitment to fulfill MA63 demands and PAS’s ideology as reasons for Sabah and Sarawak governments to continue supporting the prime minister.
PETALING JAYA: Putrajaya’s commitment to fulfil demands by Sabah and Sarawak under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) will ensure that the unity government serves a full term, says an analyst.
Council of Professors fellow Jeniri Amir said there is no reason for the two ruling coalitions, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS), to quit the current administration led by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.
He added that many of the demands had been fulfilled in the “short span of a year” since Anwar took the helm in November last year.
Stay up-to-date by following FMT's Telegram channelFMT
“This is proof that the prime minister is committed and sincere about honouring the demands (under MA63).
“So there is no reason for them to switch sides. I believe they will continue to back the current government until the next general election,” he told FMT.
It was previously reported that among the promises that had been fulfilled were the handing over of full regulatory control of the electricity supply in Sabah to the state government.
Also, in October, then Sabah and Sarawak affairs minister Armizan Ali said the appointment of representatives from Sabah and Sarawak to the Inland Revenue Board had also affirmed the proposal by the Implementation Action Council for the 1963 Malaysia Agreement.
Armizan Mohd Ali said at the time that the proposal was mooted with the aim of restoring the original status of the representation of both states in this institution since the formation of the Federation of Malaysia.
Jeniri was commenting on Anwar’s remarks recently on attempts by certain quarters to get GPS to quit the unity government and that such moves were rebuffed by Sarawak Premier Abang Johari Openg.
Jeniri went on to say that Sabahans and Sarawakians were at odds with PAS’s ideology, which made it difficult for any collaboration with the Islamic party, which is a member of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) opposition coalition.
“It is a factor when it comes to Perikatan Nasional. PAS is perceived to be extremist and at odds with GPS’s ideology and what it is championing as well as the aspirations of Sabah and Sarawak in general.”
Universiti Malaya’s Awang Azman Awang Pawi said any attempts by the opposition to form a “back door government” with the help of GPS or GRS would be futile as the two coalitions were clearly behind Anwar.
Abang Johari’s decision to snub proposals to ditch the unity government had effectively closed the door to such a scenario, he added.
“The opposition should just treat Anwar and Abang Johari’s message as a wake-up call and wait until the next general election (GE16),” Awang said.
He believed that Anwar managed to win over Sabahans and Sarawakians via various initiatives to develop the two states and improve their well-being.
“The leaders are satisfied with the treatment they are receiving from the federal government even if it’s not perfect.”