Dr Mahathir Mohamad

KUCHING: The Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) should be upheld to enable the country to move forward, said former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said in a large family, there were times when dissatisfaction could arise among members but this needs to be evaluated and there should be a ‘meeting point’ so that the relationship will not be dissolved.

“As such, we support the request for MA63 to be fully supported and we accepted that the Peninsular, Sabah and Sarawak are three territories that merge together as equal partners.

“I am confident that if we can observe and implement the spirit and agreement, we can overcome the challenges and difficulties ahead.

“When this is achieved, we can move forward with more persistent and precise steps,” he said in his Malaysia Day greeting today.

The octogenarian, who served twice as the prime minister, also recounted the memories he had when then Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman declared the formation of Malaysia at Stadium Merdeka on Sept 16, 1963.

“I was 38 years old at the time and my feelings were mixed. I felt proud because the Federation of Malaya, North Borneo, which would later be known as Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore would merge to form a large country called Malaysia.

“At the same time, my heart was also pounding because the formation had been met with fierce opposition from some neighbouring countries,” he said.

He said, today marks 57 years of Malaysia’s existence and the nation had been through a lot together.

“We have come a long way. Singapore has left but the strength of relationship between Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak has become stronger and will continue to forged,” he added.