Sunday, September 26, 2021

Non-negotiable, Sarawak CM says on constitutional amendment

Abang Johari Openg says the constitution will only align with what was promised in MA63 once the amendment is made.

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Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg today reiterated his administration’s stand urging the federal government to amend Article 160 (2) of the Federal Constitution to restore the status of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners in the federation, in line with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

Speaking at an event in Miri today, he said amending the provision in the constitution was “non-negotiable” as Sarawak’s constitutional rights are provided for under MA63.

“We want the federal government to amend Article 160 (2),” he said. “What we want is our rights respected.

“We, GPS, are very firm in our decision and we cannot negotiate,” he added. “This is non-negotiable because it is our right.”

He said the amendment sought would see the word “federation” defined in line with MA63 instead of the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1957, as is currently the case.

“Currently, our constitution only refers to the Federation of Malaya. If I’m not mistaken, the word federation is mentioned about 50 times in the constitution.

“So, if all laws refer to this federation, then according to interpretation this means that all laws are referring to the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1957.”

He said the constitution would only align with what was promised in MA63 once the amendment is made.

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