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By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Oct 15: Once the Parliament passes the proposed amendments to the Federal Constitution involving the definition of “the Federation” and the recognition of its annexures, the position of Sarawak as one of the three partners in the formation of the Federation of Malaysia will be restored.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said this in a press conference after receiving courtesy call from Minister in Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar and Deputy Minister in Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Dato Hanifah Taib.
He said amongst the matters discussed were the proposed amendments to the Federal Constitution and some other matters related to Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and Sarawak’s interest.
This is the second attempt at the amendment of these articles of the Federal Constitution. The first attempt in 2019 failed because as it did not receive the required two third majority support of the Members of Parliament.
“The Sarawak Government did not lend its support to the earlier amendment because in our view the amendment was purely cosmetic in nature and did not reflect the special status of Sabah and Sarawak as envisaged in MA63 and its annexed instruments.
“This new proposed amendments to the Federal Constitution particularly Article 1(2) and Article 160(2) is more comprehensive and reflects the true spirit and intention of the parties when they entered into the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
“These amendments, to the definition of ‘the Federation’ under Article 160(2), are crucial and must be done so that the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and its annexures are recognised in the Federal Constitution. This amendment would also introduce the definition of ‘Malaysia Day’ which was never before defined,” said Abang Johari.
The said visit, according to Abang Johari, also discussed on the amendment to the definition of “natives” under Article 161A of the Federal Constitution.
With this amendment, he said, the power to decide which races in Sarawak shall be recognised as being indigenous to the State shall be determined by the State through State laws.
“Consequently, the position of Sarawak as one of the three partners, is properly recognised,” he said. — DayakDaily