Premier: Sarawak will continue to prioritise regaining rights under MA63 in 2023
Posted on : 01 Jan 2023  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari (left), accompanied by Abdul Karim (from second left), Uggah, Nanta and Dr Rundi, symbolically launching the state-level 2023 countdown event at Stadium Perpaduan, Petra Jaya last night. – Photos by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (Jan 1): Regaining the rights of Sarawak as stipulated under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) will continue to be the priority in 2023, said Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

Abang Johari also said his Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government remains committed to bringing developments in Sarawak to greater heights, especially when this year marks the 60th anniversary of formation of Malaysia.

“It is our wishes that our rights under MA63 will be honoured as we achieve 60 years of independence next year (2023). There are some rights listed in the agreement which are non-negotiable,” he said when officiating at the state-level official 2023 countdown event at Stadium Perpaduan, Petra Jaya last night.

Abang Johari pointed out the Sarawak’s rights under the MA63 that are non-negotiable are matters related to the state’s land boundaries and continental shelf, as well as immigration autonomy.

“These are the issues that cannot be negotiated and they are the rights of Sarawak. We will defend it,” he stressed.

He also stressed the government will continue to promote green economy to drive economic activities in the state, including targeting to produce 100,000 tonnes of hydrogen for the export market by 2025 and the carbon storage initiative.

Abang Johari also expressed gratitude to all frontliners who were instrumental in the state’s efforts to bring down the number of Covid-10 cases drastically over the past three years.

He said the state was now gradually recovering from the effects of the pandemic and economic activities were now reopened and revitalised.

“Despite the Covid-19 situation, we see that Sarawak continues to prosper where communities comprised various cultures and religions can live harmoniously together. It is without a doubt Sarawak is the most stable state in the country.”

In addition to that, Abang Johari said there has been organised development happening throughout the state, particularly infrastructure development on building better connectivity that includes the Pan Borneo Highway and coastal roads.

“We also seek to ensure electricity and water supplies in rural areas by adopting new strategy via the usage of modern technologies to bring development to rural areas.”

To better serve the different needs of the communities across the state, the premier said numerous regional agencies have been set up to prioritise development for neglected community groups deep in the interior.

“We also established the state first-ever sovereign wealth fund this year, which financial allocation will be channelled to the fund as savings for the future generations of Sarawak.”

Nonetheless, Abang Johari hopes the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 masterplan will serve as a reference for the state to achieve prosperity and advancement by 2030.

He said the confidence and support placed by Sarawakians on the GPS government during the last elections had strengthen the coalition’s position in the federal government, with five federal ministers and six deputy ministers appointed from GPS.

Among those in presence were Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, federal Works Minister Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi, state Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, state Minister of Food Industry, Community and Regional Development Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom and other state Cabinet ministers.