Federal Constitution amendment bill to return rights to Sarawak, Sabah tabled in Parliament for first reading today

Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (file photo).

By Adrian Ling

KUCHING, Nov 3: The government has tabled the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2021 for the proposed amendments of Federal Constitution to be in line with provisions related to Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) for the first reading at Parliament today.

The amendments seek to return the position of Sarawak and Sabah as two of the three entities in the formation of the Federation of Malaysia apart from giving back to Sarawak its right to define “natives”.

The Bill was tabled by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

The Bill proposes to amend Article 1 of the Federal Constitution by replacing Clause 2 to say the states of the federation comprises: the states of Malaya which include Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Penang, Selangor, Terengganu; and the Borneo states, Sabah and Sarawak.

The Bill seeks to amend Article 160(2) of the Federal Constitution by adding the definition of Malaysia Day and to replace the definition of “the Federation” in accordance with MA63.

The Bill also proposes to amend Article 161A of the Federal Constitution by replacing paragraph (a) of Clause 6 with “in relation to Sarawak, a person who is citizen and belongs to one of the races specified by State law as indigenous to the State”.

Wan Junaidi said the Bill would be tabled for a second reading at the present Parliament session which runs from Oct 25 to Dec 16.

Wan Junaidi in a statement yesterday said today marked a historical day as the Bill to amend the Federal Constitution to be in line with provisions of MA63 to restore Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia as equal partners was tabled for the first time in Parliament.

“This effort was made after cumulative years of hard work from all parties involved.

“As a Sarawakian, indeed this is a special moment for me,” he said.

Wan Junaidi, who is also Santubong MP extended his appreciation to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Cabinet members and all the members of Parliament for their support and cooperation. — DayakDaily