‘Governor’ is appropriate to replace ‘Yang di-Pertua Negeri’ following change of Chief Minister to Premier

Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Feb 18: A Sarawak minister holds that the term ‘Governor’ is appropriate to replace the title ‘Yang di-Pertua Negeri’ following the change of designation for the chief executive of Sarawak from ‘Chief Minister’ to ‘Premier’.

Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development Minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah however, was non-committal on this statement as he believed that it was premature to touch on the topic as the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) only passed the bill to change the designation of the Chief Minister recently.

He said the term ‘Yang di-Pertuan Negara’ was only used at once in Sabah but as “negara” means “nation”, it may not be appropriate for Sarawak.

“Personally, we haven’t even touched on that. This ‘Yang di-Pertuan Negara’ is only used in Sabah at one time, it was never used in Sarawak.

“It’s too premature for me to touch on that because we have just passed the Bill to change Ketua Menteri (Chief Minister) to Premier.  I think we will leave it as it is. 

“Yang di-Pertua Negeri to me, I am comfortable with it, to differentiate with the other states that have have sultans.

“When you mention about ‘negara’, ‘‘ means ‘nation’.  It might not be that appropriate, that is how I look at it.

“But another term that, if we have to change it, we can do with ‘Governor’ because ‘Governor’ is a more appropriate term than Yang di-Pertuan Negara,” said Abdul Karim when met by media at the signing of Memorandum of Agreement between the Sarawak Sports Corporation and two local football clubs at a local hotel here today.  

Yesterday, Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) president Lina Soo proposed for the title of ‘Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Sarawak’ to be renamed ‘Yang di-Pertuan Negara Sarawak’ as stated in Annex C Constitution of the State of Sarawak annexed to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

Holding the view that the term ‘Governor’ symbolises “imperialism and decadence”, Soo concurred with former Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee who urged Sabah to focus on reverting the title of Yang di-Pertuan Negara for its head of State, rather than following Sarawak in changing the designation of Chief Minister to Premier.  

On Feb 15, Sarawak Legislative Assembly passed the Constitution of the State of Sarawak (Amendment) Bill, 2022 which among others, designates the post of ‘Chief Minister’ as ‘Premier’. — DayakDaily