Kota Sentosa rep: Federal govt will make necessary amendments to avoid constitutional conflict

Wilfred Yap

KUCHING, Feb 18: Kota Sentosa assemblyman Wilfred Yap is confident that the Federal and Sarawak governments will make all the necessary further amendments required to give legal effect to what was agreed upon during the formation of Malaysia.

Yap was sure that the respective governments would reflect upon the fact that the Head of the Government of Sarawak namely, the Premier of Sarawak, is of higher protocol and ranking than the Chief Ministers and Menteri Besars of the states forming the Federation of Malaya.

Yap’s confidence was built on his faith that the Sarawak and Federal governments are always in constant consultation with each other and will make all the necessary amendments to prevent any conflict of laws situations.

On the issue whether the title ‘Premier’ carries no weight outside Sarawak, Yap said the recent amendment fromChief Minister’ to ‘Premier’ by the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) must be looked upon from the perspective of whether one put the horse before the cart or the cart before the horse. 

He said in this case, the amendment to ‘Premier’ from ‘Chief Minister’ is consequential to the recent successful amendments initiated by a Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Law Minister Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar to Article 1(2)  and Article 160 (2) of the Federal Constitution relating to the rights, privileges and interest of Sabah and Sarawak which was passed on Dec 14, 2021 and which came into force on the Feb 11, 2022.  

The spirit and conditions for the formation of Malaysia by four independent and sovereign countries, namely Federation of Malaya states, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) is now given force of law, said Yap.  

He explained that the Malaysia Agreement 1963 is now entrenched in the Federal Constitution and other documents like the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report can now be used as the basic and fundamental reference of the rights, interest and privileges of Sarawak in the Federation of Malaysia.

“Therefore, the issue on whether the amendment to Premier carries no weight outside Sarawak is therefore not relevant at this premature juncture because the purpose and spirit of the amendment is merely the first step of many to come to signify the commitment of the Sarawak GPS Government  to solidify the position and status of Sarawak to be clearly different and higher than the individual Malaya states amalgamated into the Federation of Malaya,” said Yap in a statement today.

The first-term Sarawak lawmaker believed that there will be no challenges in the amendments of the Federal constitution to lift the power of the Sarawak Premier if its people continue to support GPS under the visionary leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg and delivery another landslide victory of all 31 Parliamentary seats in Sarawak during the 15th General Elections (15GE).

“Let us all Sarawakians not be blinded by the rhetoric of the Opposition parties from Malaya and stay united to safeguard our vision of Sarawak First,” said Yap in response to Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii’s statement that the title of ‘Premier’ carries no power outside Sarawak.

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