By Ling Hui & Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, Jan 15: The Sarawak government is going to ask the federal government in a meeting on Thursday (Jan 19) whether the latter is serious about recognising Sarawak and Sabah as regions and not States in the Federation of Malaysia.
Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said this to reporters after launching the Kuching Car Free Morning programme at Padang Merdeka today.
“We will see how it goes. We have a meeting (with the federal government) on Jan 19, so we will ask them whether they are sure of it,” he said, responding to press inquiries on whether the federal government would be gazetting the recognition soon.
Recently, on Jan 13, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the status of Sarawak and Sabah should no longer be regarded as States but as regions within Malaysia.
To Abang Johari, Zahid’s statement was “just a suggestion”, and for the recognition to take effect, the Federal Constitution must be amended according to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report.
“Right from the beginning, we (Sarawak) should have been known as a region, but the situation has changed now after 60 years.
“That’s why we amended the constitutions (according to) MA63 and IGC. We are a region. That’s also why the position of the chief minister has been changed to the premier,” he said. — DayakDaily