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At Malaysia Day celebrations, PM says no compromise on challenges to country’s sovereignty

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Sarawak Yang Dipertua Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg during the Malaysia Day celebration at the Sibu Indoor Stadium September 16, 2020. — Bernama pic
Sarawak Yang Dipertua Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg during the Malaysia Day celebration at the Sibu Indoor Stadium September 16, 2020. — Bernama pic

SIBU, Sept 16 — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the federal government will defend Malaysia’s sovereignty without compromise.

He stressed that Sarawak and Sabah will continue to be in Malaysia.

“The federal government will not bow to any pressure from any quarters attempting to question our nation’s sovereignty,” he said in his address at the 57th Malaysia Day celebration here.

The prime minister said the National Security Council and the enforcement agencies have a joint responsibility to upgrade the country’s border security to curb any attempt to encroach into and threaten the nation’s territory.

“This includes implementing Ops Benteng and upgrading the enforcement of the Eastern Sabah Security Command,” he said.

The prime minister also said the Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal government was committed to ensuring that the rights of Sarawak and Sabah as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement (MA63) were honoured.

“At the early stage of the formation of the PN federal government, I have created a portfolio on the affairs of Sarawak and Sabah at the Prime Minister’s Department which is being entrusted the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili,” he said.

Muhyiddin said the federal Cabinet’s meeting on September 9 decided to set up a Special Council on MA63 that he chaired as the PM.

He said also members of the council are the chief ministers of Sarawak and Sabah, federal ministers, and others who will be appointed based on their suitability, qualifications, and fields of expertise.

He said the council will discuss issues related to the rights of Sarawak and Sabah which are enshrined in MA63.

The prime minister said among the issues are the position of Sarawak and Sabah as allies, state rights under Article 112 of the Federal Constitution, MA63 and Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report, state security and education.

He hoped the council would be able to resolve these issues in line with the spirit of the MA63 and the provisions of the Federal Constitution.

“What is important is that the efforts to develop the two states can continue and upgrade with close cooperation between the state and federal governments,” he said.

“I wish to state here that issues which are considered as difficult can be solved amicably when the federal government and the state government are in the same direction and in one voice,” he said.

The prime minister also said the council will be assisted by the existing committees which have been set up at the ministerial level and federal agencies based on the related issues.

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