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By Ling Hui
KUCHING, Oct 27: There is no big issue with the Bill to amend the Federal Constitution to be in line with the provisions of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) which was scheduled for its first reading in Parliament yesterday (Oct 26).
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the reason for its postponement was due to the need for the Attorney General (AG) to clarify certain points regarding the Bill for several ministers in the Cabinet.
“There is actually no problem, just that, from what I understood from Dato Sri Wan Junaidi (Tuanku Jaafar), there are a few things concerning Article 160(2) regarding the definition of federation, that needs to be clarified.
“There is no big issue. It’s just a matter of understanding that requires explanation from the AG.”
He told reporters this when met after the opening ceremony of 2nd International Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities 2021 in conjunction with the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) exchange between the Sarawak government and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) on the Pehin Sri Adenam Satem Chair at a hotel here today.
When asked further about the new proposed date for the tabling of the Bill, Abang Johari simply said: “It is better to refer to Dato Sri Wan Junaidi”.
On Oct 18, the Special Council on MA63 (MKMA63), chaired by Prime Minister Dato Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, agreed to the proposed amendments to Article 1(2) and Article 160(2) of the Federal Constitution.
The Bill to amend the Constitution was first scheduled to be tabled for first reading in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday (Oct 26), but was later delayed after an engagement session on Oct 24.
The AG’s briefing to the Cabinet was fixed for Friday (Oct 29) while the new date for the first reading of the Bill has yet to be decided.
This marks the second attempt to amend the Constitution in line with MA63 to secure the rights of Sarawak and Sabah.
The first was in 2019 during former Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration when the Bill only received 138 votes with 59 MPs abstaining, including Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) 18 MPs.
Without two-thirds majority, the tabling of the Bill did not pass. — DayakDaily