Wan Junaidi: Bill to amend Constitution in line with MA63 to proceed on Oct 26

Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar

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KUCHING, Oct 23: The tabling of the Bill to amend the Federal Constitution to be in line with the provisions of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) in Parliament will proceed as planned on Oct 26.

De facto law minister Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar pointed out that the Cabinet, has, in principle, agreed and approved the Memorandum on the Bill, which was tabled during the last meeting on Wednesday (Oct 20).

He however said that the second reading on the Bill will be rescheduled to another date, from the initial plan on Oct 28, pending the Attorney General (AG)’s explanation to the members of Cabinet.

“There were several members who seek further clarification on the proposed amendments.

“To address their queries, the Cabinet has agreed to ask the AG to attend the upcoming Cabinet meeting next Friday (Oct 29) to explain on the amendments.

“Once the Cabinet is fully satisfied with the explanation, only then we will be able to fix a new date for the second reading on the bill in Parliament,” he said in a statement today.

On Monday (Oct 18), the Special Council on MA63 chaired by Prime Minister Dato Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had agreed to the proposal brought by Wan Junaidi to redefine some provisions in the Federal Constitution within the context of MA63.

The proposed amendment of Article 1(2) is to restore the Article to its original arrangement as it appeared in the Federal Constitution of 1963.

In the proposed amendments, States of the Federation will then be defined as the States of Malaya (namely states in Peninsular Malaysia) and the Borneo states (namely Sabah and Sarawak).

Wan Junaidi is also proposing for the amendment of Article 160 (2) to include “Malaysia Day” as on 16 September 1963, which is the date of the formation of Malaysia and marked the end of the Queen of England’s sovereignty over Sarawak and Sabah (North Borneo as it was then called) and the end of the British rule over the two territories.

Currently, there is no mention of Malaysia Day or Hari Malaysia in the Federal Constitution.

Other is the amendment to Article 160(2) on the interpretation of the word “the Federation” as “the Federation that was first established under the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1957 and further pursuant to an Agreement concluded on the 9th July, 1963 between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Federation of Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and the State of Singapore federated with the existing States of the Federation of Malaya as the States of Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore in accordance with the constitutional instruments annexed thereto but under and by virtue of the Agreement relating to the separation of Singapore from Malaysia as an independent State dated 7th day of August, 1965, Singapore has ceased to be a State of Malaysia” to complement the amendment of Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution.

Wan Junaidi said, “Restoring Article 1(2) to its original arrangement is not enough and it must be complemented with the amendment of Article 160(2) in order to give the due recognition the Malaysia Agreement 1963 in the Federal Constitution.”

“These are among the low hanging fruits that we are focusing right now, in line with our 100 days KPI,” he added.

Other amendments proposed by Wan Junaidi include the amendment to the definition of “natives” of Sarawak under Article 161A of the Federal Constitution to give status of a native to the offsprings of the marriage of a native to the none-native in Sarawak.

With this amendment, the power to decide which races in Sarawak shall be recognised as being indigenous to the State which would be determined by the State through the State laws. — DayakDaily