Sharifah Hasidah: No hidden agenda on ‘Premier’ title, just concerns Sarawak’s status as equal partner

Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali (file photo)

By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, Feb 22: The Sarawak government has no hidden agenda behind amending the State Constitution to change the title for the head of the government to ‘Premier’.

Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Law, MA63 and State-Federal Relations) Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali said the amendment was simply to address the State’s status as equal partners in the formation of Malaysia as enshrined under Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

“When we signed MA63, Sarawak is one of the signatories alongside Sabah and Federation of Malaya. Therefore, we are equal partners with Malaya; not one of the States like Penang and Melaka.

“To reflect this, we have to change the title of ‘Chief Minister’ to ‘Premier’. That is all, there is no other agenda.

“We want to amend the Constitution to show that Sarawak is one of the regions that formed Malaysia and its status is not equal to other States like Melaka, Terengganu or Penang. We are equal to the whole of Malaya,” she said.

She said this when speaking at a seminar titled “Rabbani Family: Synergy in facing challenges today” held at the Sarawak Islamic Complex here today.

She disclosed that she has received much feedback questioning the move by the State government, seeking clarification as to whether the latter has any hidden agenda.

Some parties, she said, had also alleged that the State government was aiming for more power.

“But, no. We are only showing our status as equal partners and this amendment is in accordance with the Federal Constitution. We are not going against the law of the Constitution.

“The Prime Minister remains the highest (leader of the federal government), followed by Premier of Sarawak, and then the Chief Ministers in other states,” she elaborated. — DayakDaily