By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Feb 16: The term ‘Premier’ can officially be used after the Constitution of the State of Sarawak (Amendment) Bill, 2022 has been gazetted and with the assent from the Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said that a date will be fixed for this law to come into force by the Cabinet and Sarawak government.
“As it is, because anything that happens in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) or even Parliament, social media will pick it up very fast.
“So when people are aware there is a ‘Premier’ and ‘Deputy Minister’ designations (in Sarawak), how can we stop them from using the terms. This (DUN Sarawak) is the highest law-making body.
“I believe it (the terms) will naturally be widely used soon,” he told a press conference at the Media Room of the DUN Complex today.
On the time involved for the gazettement process, Abdul Karim who is also Minister of Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development, explained that it could take between one week and six months depending on the relevant authorities.
“For example, the declaration of Emergency only took one day (for the law) to be gazetted. Everything was done very fast. So it can be done in one day (depending on the urgency or priority of the matter).
“So, if the Sarawak government wants it to be done this week, it will be done,” he added.
Abdul Karim however agreed that the gazettement should be expedited considering the high priority of the matter because if it takes too long, it could open up new speculation as well as confusion on the proper use of the term which could become unpleasant.
The Bill to replace Chief Minister with ‘Premier’ and Assistant Minister with ‘Deputy Minister’ was passed in DUN Sarawak yesterday (Feb 15) with two-thirds majority.
With that, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg who is the head of government of Sarawak will now be known as the ‘Premier’, while Assistant Ministers will be styled ‘Deputy Ministers”. — DayakDaily