The government will reinstate the territories of Sabah and Sarawak from states to equal partners of Malaysia, as originally agreed in 1963.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad announced the news on Malaysia Day (Sept 16) – the day the Malaysian Federation was formed, comprising Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore.
He spent the celebration in Sabah.
Mahathir said the territories were “equal partners” at the beginning, The Star reported.
Singapore was subsequently expelled, and Sabah and Sarawak were downgraded to Malaysian states.
Now, the new government is anxious to restore the lost rights of the latter two regions – which Mahathir described as “backwards and with poor infrastructure” – to improve development.
Mahathir added that the move hopes to strengthen the relationship between Malaysia and the territories, and unite the country better.