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By Ling Hui
KUCHING, Sept 16: The Sarawak government has proposed amendments to Article 1(2) and Article 160(2) of the Federal Constitution which involve discussions to amend and strengthen Sarawak’s position in accordance with Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the Sarawak State Attorney-General’s Chambers (SAGC) submitted its written comments on March 30 while the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) of Malaysia returned documents on April 2 to the Sarawak and Sabah SAGCs.
He revealed this during a speech at the State-level Malaysia Day celebration at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly Complex here tonight.
While specific details of the amendments were not revealed, he asserted this was among the milestones achieved by the State government in the past year to regain Sarawak’s eroded rights.
He said all this while, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) lawmakers have been fighting to amend Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution that involves removing Sarawak and Sabah from the list of Malaysian states, and placing them in a different grouping.
With the initial Article 1(2) reading “The States of the Federation shall be Johore, Kedah, Kelantan, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Perlis, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor and Terengganu”, it was proposed for Sarawak and Sabah to be taken out of the list and placed in another category.
With this amendment, Sarawak and Sabah would no longer be States of Malaysia, but regions within the federation.
As for Article 160(2), the Sarawak government proposed an amendment to include the words “pursuant to the Malaysia Agreement 1963” to restore Sarawak and Sabah’s statuses as equal partners with Peninsular Malaysia.
That way, the Federal Constitution would be referring to the newer MA63 and not the Malaya Agreement 1957 which took place before the Borneo States became a part of the Federation of Malaysia.
Meanwhile, on Article 112(d) relating to special grants for Sarawak and Sabah, Abang Johari said negotiations are underway with the federal government to review the quantum that should be allocated to the States according to an agreed formula.
In conjunction with this year’s Malaysia Day, he expressed his hope that the large “Keluarga Malaysia” comprising Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah will continue to strengthen their commitment to ensuring that the country remains stable and developed.
“As the head of the GPS government, I would like to assure that the Sarawak government will continue to work to restore any eroded Sarawak rights through negotiation with the federal government.
“I thank the leadership of Prime Minister Dato Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob who continues to show concern for the aspirations of the people of Sarawak,” he added. — DayakDaily