Tok Mat’s ‘New Malaysia Agreement’ proposal crazy, says Sarawak minister

KUCHING: A Sarawak state minister has criticised Barisan Nasional deputy chairman Mohamad Hasan’s suggestion for the Sabah BN leadership to propose a “New Malaysia Agreement”, dismissing it as a “crazy” proposal.

State tourism, creative industry and performing arts minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said no political leader should change the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) for political expediency.

He maintained that MA63 was a “fundamental document which led to the formation of a nation”.

Karim said just because BN was in power in Sabah now did not mean it could dictate and change the document unilaterally.

“Umno cannot dictate (how MA63 should be). That is just crazy,” he said when asked by reporters to comment on Mohamad’s suggestion.

“It’s not a tenancy agreement which you can change after a certain number of years. You cannot simply chop and change at your whims and fancies or for political expediency.”

Mohamad, or Tok Mat, who is also the Umno deputy president, said the New Malaysia Agreement needed to be underpinned by a new spirit and context in restoring the rights and interests of Sabah.

Karim, who is also a Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice-president, said leaders like Mohamad “come and go”, with new figures taking over top posts in a decade or two.

However, he questioned if Malaysians could expect these new leaders to start “chopping and changing the MA63 document all over again”.

“How many MA63s do they want?” he asked.

“The MA63 that has been agreed on by our forefathers should be protected. (We should) not (have) a totally new MA63 to suit the present political parties or leaders.”

PBB is the lynchpin of the four-party Sarawak ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) coalition.


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