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KUCHING, Feb 23: The title of ‘premier’ to denote the head of Sarawak’s government is a similar set-up practised in other Commonwealth countries where the head of the federation is styled as the prime minister and heads of regions constituting the federation are styled as premiers, says Chief Political Secretary to the Chief Minister Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman.
“Consequentially, after the federal constitution amendments to Article 1(2) and Article 160, the title ‘premier’, reflects exactly that, which is Sarawak’s elevated status as one of the three partners forming Malaysia and it also uplifts Sarawak’s image among the people in other states.
“I urge the professor to understand the impact of renaming the term (for Sarawak’s head of government) as it means a lot to the people in Sarawak.
“We shouldn’t let mere technicalities in linguistics and lexicon to usurp the rights and status of Sarawak. It would be a disservice for DBP (Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka) to hold such against Sarawakians,” said Fazzrudin in a press statement today.
Fazzrudin said this in response to the recent statement by DBP’s board of control chairman Prof Datuk Awang Sariyan who urged Sarawak to reconsider its decision to change the title of its State government leader from ‘chief minister’ to ‘premier’ as reported by a national daily.
While the professor had argued that there will be long-term implications to use of the said title, Fazzrudin said he humbly urged the former to respect the decision of the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) as well as the Sarawak Constitution.
To Fazzrudin, the DUN, being the supreme lawmaking body in Sarawak had passed The Constitution of the State of Sarawak (Amendment) Bill 2022, which had obtained the support of the members in the august House.
This, the Tupong assemblyman said, has allowed Sarawak to assert itself and its status as one of the partners in the formation of the Malaysia Federation.
He pointed out that all this while, there has been no substantive differentiation between Sarawak and other states in Malaysia which are also using ‘chief minister’ to denote their respective head of government. — DayakDaily