KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Deputy Prime Minister Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday urged all politicians to stop politicising and manipulating facts on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) saying it can lead to anxiety among the people.

He said all politicians and parliamentarians should set aside their differences and be rational in discussing the issue.

He said it is an established fact that the majority of the people have accepted Malaysian unity in good faith.

“Malaysia should live on not only for the next 33 years until we reach 2050 but Malaysia must remain a federation forever.

“Sabah, Sarawak and the peninsula will never part,” he said at the launch of the book ‘Berpisah Tiada’ authored by Dewan Rakyat (Lower House) Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia at Parliament House yesterday.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, reminded politicians not to poison the minds of the people in the hope of winning votes.

“We must be open-minded, and accept the fact that the power of the people is sacred so we need to have good campaign strategies for the people.

“Accept the good and cast aside the bad so that we can grow into a nation as desired in this book ‘Berpisah Tiada’ which emphasises co-existing in harmony despite differences in race, religion and culture,” he said.

On the book written in the Malay language, Ahmad Zahid said unlike numerous studies conducted by previous analysts on the rights of Sabah and Sarawak which had elements of bias and prejudice, Berpisah Tiada’ served to correct the negative perceptions.

“‘Berpisah Tiada’ is not an empirical study and is non-academic but to me the author puts things in perspective and this is a plus point for the book,” he added.

Meanwhile, Pandikar Amin said he decided to write the book because he wanted to correct the negative perceptions the people in Sabah had that their rights had been eroded, violated and seized by the federal government.

“It is rather odd because I am from Sabah and I believe my friends from Sarawak do not have the slightest feeling that my rights as a Sabahan have been violated and so forth,” he said.

He said he had unravelled issues on Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia relations in the 147-page book, among them the position and importance of Sabah in Malaysia, particularly from legislative, historical, political and constitutional aspects.

The book which can be purchased for RM50 at Parliament House will soon be available in English language.