Kota Marudu Member of Parliament

Speak with one voice on state rights — Maximus

LAWAS: Sabah and Sarawak must speak with one voice in claiming their rights based on the interests of the people of both states in their negotiations with the federal government.

Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili said this was important as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was not only ready to listen but also open-minded on the issue of state rights.

The minister said in his meeting with Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Abang Openg recently, where they discussed several matters related to the issue.

“We are grateful that the present leadership under Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak is not only ready to listen to us but is also open-minded on this issue of state rights of Sabah and Sarawak,” he said at a ceremony to present cheques to Christian places of worships here over the weekend.

Maximus, who is a longserving federal minister, said state representation in the federal government was a stark difference to the time when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was prime minister as only one or two from Sabah and Sarawak were appointed to the federal cabinet.

He called on Sarawakians and Sabahans to continue giving their support to the Barisan Nasional (BN) government to continue the agenda of developing both east Malaysian states. He said the present BN government was committed to ensuring that the rights of Sarawak and Sabah as stipulated in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) were protected for the benefit of all.

On the grants, he said they were government assistance and not election goodies.

“This aid is given on the request of leaders of churches and places of worships in Ba Kelalan and Lawas before the last election,” he said. A total of RM2.55 million was presented in two phases to 60 churches in Ba Kelalan and Lawas.

Also present at the function wer e Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Datuk Henry Sum Agong, Joseph Surang representing Lawas District Officer Hussaini Hakim, Temenggong Kading Silo and Lun Bawang community leaders. 

Source : theborneopost