Equal partner status: Sarawak will decide what it will be called within M’sia

Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar

By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Feb 11: Sarawak will decide how it should term itself within the Federation of Malaysia following the Agong’s decree that it is now an equal partner within Malaysia.

Today, the Constitution (Amendment) Act 2022 [Act A1642] came to force following the consent by His Majesty Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah Ibni AlMarhum Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah.

The amendment was made to clause (2) of Article 1 and clause (2) of Article 160 of the Federal Constitution.

“The status of Sarawak, or how it will be called will be discussed later on by the State government,” Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Dato Sri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said when asked by reporters at a press conference.

Earlier, Junaidi said the Act includes amendments to Articles 1 (2), 160 (2) and 161A (6) and (7) the Federal Constitution.

The Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2021 for the amendment of Article 1 (2),
160 (2) and 161A (6) and (7) of the Federal Constitution were passed in the Dewan Rakyat on Dec 14, 2021 with the support of two third majority (199 members) and the Senate with a support of 49 members on Dec 23, 2021.

“Meanwhile, the amendment to clauses (6) and (7) of Article 161A of the Federal Constitution is to provide the race considered as indigenous people as provided in our Sarawak law.

“Therefore, through this amendment, the definition of indigenous race in Sarawak is no longer subject to the provision of the Federal Constitution.

“Instead, it will be fully determined by the Sarawak government through its own State legislation,” Junaidi said.

He also gave examples of how mixed marriages are common in Sarawak among the indigenous who are of Bumiputera status and non-indigenous, however, their children are termed non-Bumiputera. — DayakDaily