Kota Sentosa rep: Renaming CM to Premier appropriate for Sarawak’s higher status than states of Malaya

Wilfred Yap

By Ling Hui

KUCHING, Feb 15: Renaming the position of Chief Minister as ‘Premier’ gives form to the substance of Sarawak’s higher status than the states of Malaya in the Federation of Malaysia, says Kota Sentosa assemblyman Wilfred Yap.

He said it must be clear that Sarawak as a sovereign State during the formation of Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963 is “unique and different” from the states forming the Federation of Malaya.


When the Federation of Malaya states have Chief Ministers, he said, Sarawak’s head of government must carry a different title to distinguish and manifest its status as an equal partner with the Federation of Malaya.

“For example, in Canada, a premier is the head of government of a province or territory. Though the word is merely a synonym for Prime Minister, it is employed for provincial prime ministers to differentiate them from the Prime Minister of Canada.

“In Australia, the leader of the state government is called the Premier.

“It is therefore of legal importance for Sarawak to distinguish and manifest her status as an equal partner with the Federation of Malaya by distinguishing the head of government through the designation of Premier to differentiate from the Chief Ministers in the states of Malaya namely Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Penang, Selangor and Terengganu,” he said in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting today.

Debating in support of the Constitution of the State of Sarawak (Amendment) Bill, 2022, Yap said the amendments are most appropriate at this juncture as they form the basis and foundation for the legislation of future laws in respect of the rights, interests and privileges of Sarawak in the Federation of Malaysia.

The Constitution of the State of Sarawak (Amendment) Bill, 2022 provides for the amendments to Article 6(3) of the Constitution of the State of Sarawak to redesignate the post of Chief Minister to Premier and Article 44 with the new concise and accurate interpretation of the Formation of Malaysia through Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) which is consistent with Article 160(2) of the Federal Constitution.

The amendment bill was tabled and read for the second time in DUN today by Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

The third reading is scheduled for today as well. — DayakDaily