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KOTA KINABALU, Sept 17, 2018:

As Malaysia entered its 55th year yesterday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad assured East Malaysians that their states’ status as equal partners with Malaya will be restored.

While Parti Bersatu Sabah Deputy President Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili welcomes the good news, he however hope that the announcement is not just lip service.

“Great that he (Mahathir) has finally woke up to his senses, and now acknowledged Sabah and Sarawak status in the Federation, as originally promised by the late Tunku Abdul Rahman and enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

“Especially since he had conveniently ignored the fact during his first round tenure as Malaysia’s Prime Minister for 22 years. Hope it's not just lip service,” said Ongkili, who is also the Kota Marudu Member of Parliament.

He added that Sabahans and Sarawakians are now eager to see the Pakatan Harapan Government's next course of action, particularly its power devolution plan for the two states.

“The then Barisan Nasional government had already commenced policy and legislative action.

“So what’s PH plan of action? We are very anxious to know what’s next,” said Ongkili.

PBS, he added, will monitor and continuously check on the PH Government to ensure that its promise to restore MA63 rights to Sabah and Sarawak is not just another chapter of its 100-days Manifesto, which Ongkili described is now considered as “dead and gone”.

Mahathir, in his Malaysia Day speech said the status of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners in the nation will be restored under the New Malaysia and Pakatan Harapan federal government.

He said it will be done once the review on the MA63 has been completed.

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