Chief minister: Sarawak will forever be part of Malaysia

KUCHING: The Sarawak government has no intention of leaving Malaysia amid a move by the state to send a legal team to London to study the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), says Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He added that Sarawak actually wanted to learn more about all the documents related to its rights under MA63, as part of its continuous discussion with the Federal Government in the devolution of power.

The state has no intention of inviting foreign intervention in its domestic affairs, he said in reference to the London team.

“In our negotiation with Putrajaya, we must first do our homework to make sure that we are not firing blanks and this is why we sent our team of lawyers to London.

“It is to study the large volume of documents in the British archives and other sources that were recently declassified in order to determine what really underlies the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement.

“There’s no need for Sarawak to exit Malaysia.

“But being in Malaysia does not mean we cannot negotiate with the Federal Government to get back our rights and what belongs to us,” he said at the Sarawak Day celebration at the Kuching Waterfront here yesterday.

Abang Johari also said the Sarawak government is grateful to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his deputy Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for always being open to discussion with the state in the effort to bring back its powers.

“Malaysia has been a success story.

“We have developed by leaps and bounds over the years, where our per capita income and GDP multiplied many times.

“Still, it is not a perfect reunion but we strive to be a perfect union in the years to come.

“As Tok Nan (former chief minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem) used to say: We were Malaysia yesterday, we are Malaysia now, we are Malaysia tomorrow and we are Malaysia forever,” Abang Johari said.

Yesterday’s event was held to commemorate Sarawak’s independence on July 22, 1963.