Salleh: Don’t look at Malaysia Agreement 1963 from only political perspective

salleh said keruak

(The Rakyat Post) – When talking about the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), it should not be viewed only from a political perspective.

Calling for the people to put aside their political ideology differences, Sabah State Assembly Speaker Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said MA63 should be looked at from its historical facts and other relevant issues.

“You must not look at MA63 from a political perspective or partisan politics, but rather from the 18 Points for Sarawak and 20 points for Sabah, as well as the IGC (Inter-Governmental Committee) Report and the Constitution.

“We need to look into it and enter into negotiations. That is more important.

“If you don’t discuss this matter openly, small groups of people will take the opportunity to find fault in both state and federal governments,” said Salleh, adding that putting aside these differences would allow people to celebrate it as a blessing, which would eventually lead to a solution that would satisfy all.

Salleh believed the positive thinkers would always have their way to solve conflicts because they did not dwell on just the matter, but instead found the best approach.

Speaking after attending a luncheon talk at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) today, he said conflicts were normally caused by internal politicking and, for some, the way to get ahead was to create cliques within the organisation.

“As a result, members will be unhappy, depressed, distrustful and jealous of one another.

“So instead of trying to push your agenda down everybody’s throat, good leaders must accept that differences of opinion will always exist and therefore must be celebrated.

“A garden will not be beautiful if there is only one type of flower,” said Salleh, when asked to comment on Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman’s call for leaders to put aside political difference and instead focus on Sabah rights.

The former Chief Minister said he was never bothered by the different opinions, which he said made up about 10% of the problem, adding that the rest was the way one handled it, like being disrespectful to others.

Citing himself as an example, he said being the Speaker, he was accustomed to watching assemblymen constantly at each other’s throats during the sitting.

He said he would normally advise these lawmakers to handle the issue professionally, especially with those who disagreed with them.

As such, he said that managers played a large role in handling conflicts within their organisations and most problems could be resolved informally, outside meetings or conferences.

“When I was the Chief Minister, it was normal to hear differing opinions from all members of the Cabinet.

“But I would approach the members one by one to reach a consensus over any issue that becomes a point of contention before the Cabinet meeting to ensure the Cabinet meeting can be carried out smoothly.”

Salleh said he was still practising this at State Assembly sittings and the Opposition was not left out.

“I would sit with the Opposition, listen and discuss their issues, and later guide them on how they can put through their opinions effectively.

“Of course, it does not guarantee there will be no argument among them, but at least the meetings can be conducted in a more controlled manner.”

Over the weekend, Anifah moderated a forum on Public Diplomacy, Formation of Malaysia and the Malaysia Agreement at UMS with a panel of 12 participants.