The federal government’s stance is that all agreements signed with Sabah and Sarawak, including the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), must be respected and fulfilled, says Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.
Anwar said that as the country's number one leader, he was responsible for ensuring that the matter was resolved, and acknowledged that various efforts had been made by previous federal administrations in this regard over the past few years, including by amending the Federal Constitution.
"We need to try to resolve it (the MA63 issue) earnestly and not just make political statements or promises to get support from Sarawak or GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak).
"When we look at the state of development in Sabah and Sarawak, especially in the interior, I cannot deny that there are tasks that we have not completed well," he said in his speech at the state banquet in Kuching last night.
Meanwhile, Anwar said Malaysia was a federation and that the spirit of unity would not be achieved if the people’s feelings or sentiments were hurt.
"The leader's job is to heal and not to add salt to the wounds, that's why I see this effort as part of fulfilling a responsibility.
"I am touched when I hear the complaints from Sarawak and Sabah or the minorities who feel that they are left out of the mainstream of development. This is not right, so we must treat (this situation)," he said.
Anwar is on his first working visit to Sarawak since taking office in November last year.