Soo proposes renaming Sarawak Governor as ‘Yang di-Pertuan Negara Sarawak’

Lina Soo (file photo)

KUCHING, Feb 17: The Governor of Sarawak (Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Sarawak) should be renamed ‘Yang di-Pertuan Negara Sarawak’ as in Annex C Constitution of the State of Sarawak annexed to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), says Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) president Lina Soo.

Soo opined that the term ‘Governor’ symbolises “imperialism and decadence”.

Soo was concurring with former Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee who urged Sabah to focus on reverting the title of Yang di-Pertuan Negara for its head of State, rather than following Sarawak to change the Chief Minister’ designation to Premier.

“This is supported by Article 5 of Annex A Malaysia Bill of Malaysia Agreement which defines the Governor as the Head of State, by whatever style known, in a State not having a Ruler and in particular includes the Yang di-Pertuan Negara in Sabah and the Yang di-Pertuan Negara in Singapore.

“For former British colonies, the title of Governor is a British legacy handed down from the British empire to appoint a local official or administrator to govern its colony by the imperial monarch, who is the Queen of Britain,” she said in a statement today.

In the furor over the renaming of the Chief Minister of Sarawak to Premier, Soo said Article 5 of Annex A Malaysia Bill of Malaysia Agreement defines Chief Minister and ‘Menteri Besar’ both to mean the president, by whatever style known, of the Executive Council in a State and in a particular Chief Minister includes the Prime Minister in Singapore.

By the qualification of “by whatever style known”, she believed it is constitutional for Sarawak through a two-thirds majority in the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN) to amend Chief Minister to Premier.

“Therefore, there is no need for any Sarawak minister to be apologist over it, and the people of Sarawak should welcome this step because this proves the sanctity and sovereignty of our DUN established as Sarawak General Council on Sept 8, 1867 and is one of the oldest continuously functioning legislatures in the world, with the power to make and amend laws.”

Where Parliament essentially and simply means a legislative assembly of elected lawmakers, Soo also voiced support for the renaming of Sarawak DUN to Sarawak Parliament while any word which indicates Sarawak as a state (‘negeri’) should be expunged. — DayakDaily