Definition of `Federation of Malaysia’ wrong, change it — Masing

Tan Sri Dr James Masing

KUCHING, April 5: The definition of the Federation of Malaysia should be changed to “the Federation formed pursuant to the Malaysian Agreement 63 (MA63)” in order to give equal status to Sarawak and Sabah as two separate entities prior to the formation of Malaysia.

In stating this, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing said the proposed amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution was more complicated than meets the eye.

“I am not a lawyer, but I was told that MA63 has no constitutional backing.

“If indeed that is the case, then the amendment must include the definition of the Federation. The definition of the Federation should be changed to ‘the Federation formed pursuant to MA63’,” he said in a statement today.

Masing pointed out that this was one of the many things that the lawmakers must carefully consider when debating the Bill.

“The question of giving equal status to Sarawak and Sabah is just icing on the cake. They must see the whole cake before agreeing to the amendment; otherwise, Sarawak and Sabah will be trapped. You fool me once, shame on you. You fool me twice, shame on me.”

Sharifah Hasidah

Meanwhile, Sarawak de facto Law Minister Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali said the amendment would not alter the function of the federal and state governments.

“So, it’s just a nomenclature only. Like the Malay proverb Melepas batuk di tangga (merely for the sake of doing it). For us, we will fight for all other matters.

“Personally, I see nothing in the amendment.”

The Bill was tabled for first reading in Parliament by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong yesterday. — DayakDaily