Sarawak to ensure all its rights clearly stated in Federal Constitution — Abang Jo

Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg. — file pic

Follow and subscribe to DayakDaily on Telegram for faster news updates.

By Geryl Ogilvy

KUCHING, May 9: The state government will render full co-operation to the Parliamentary Special Committee in its work on the comprehensive amendments to the Federal Constitution.

Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said his office would ensure that amendments unanimously agreed upon by the august House on April 30 would be incorporated into any Bill to amend the Constitution.

More importantly, the stated objectives must be fully met, the chief minister added.

“The recent Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2019 introduced in Parliament on April 4, to amend Article 1(2), did not meet these fundamental objectives, particularly the failure to accord recognition of the fact that Malaysia is a federation formed by virtue of MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963).

“Therefore, the state government was not able to support the Bill, aimed as solely to amend Article 1(2).

“The GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) Members of Parliament had to abstain from voting on this Bill after their proposal to have the Bill referred to a Special Select Committee for deliberation was rejected,” he said in his winding-up speech at the DUN sitting here today.

Abang Johari added that he had met de facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong on April 29 after the Bill was defeated for lack of the mandatory two-thirds majority support.

“The federal minister has since announced there would be a special Parliamentary Select Committee on amendments to the Federal Constitution, and he was waiting what he described as ‘the package’ of amendments to be made to the Federal Constitution to be put forward from this august House,” he explained.

Abang Johari made reference to the motion tabled by Sarawak Assistant Minister for Law, State-Federal Relationship and Project Monitoring Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali on April 30.

The motion proposed comprehensive amendments to the Federal Constitution in line with due recognition being accorded under MA63.

It sought to satisfy the aspirations of all Sarawakians that Sarawak’s constitutional position in Malaysia is not similar to the states in the Peninsular of Malaysia.

The motion also sought to ensure that the legislative and executive powers and the sources of revenues provided and assigned to Sarawak are securely safeguarded, and proposed to provide adequate protection against any encroachment or erosion of the state’s constitutional rights and safeguards.

Abang Johari reminded that the state government and the people must, at all times, stay vigilant to prevent any erosion of our constitutional rights and safeguards.

Sarawakians must stand united and be bold in the defence of the constitutional rights and the special position of Sarawak within the Federation of Malaysia.

“My late predecessor, Pehin Sri Adenan Satem, started this process of reclaiming our rights and revenues, which had been granted or assigned to Sarawak when Sarawak agreed to the formation of Malaysia.

“I want to continue what the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem had initiated, and indeed with greater vigour and with the united support of all Sarawakians as expressed through their representatives in this august House.” — DayakDaily