Friday, October 22, 2021

Bill to amend constitution in line with MA63 to be tabled end-October

Law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar says the amendments will provide clarity on the position of Sabah and Sarawak.

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A bill to amend the Federal Constitution to bring it in line with the relevant provisions of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) is expected to be tabled in Parliament by the end of this month, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

Wan Junaidi said the legislative amendments to the Federal Constitution were crucial as they would provide clarity on the position of Sabah and Sarawak as well as the people, particularly the natives of both states.

“Over the years there has been an erosion of the rights of Sabah and Sarawak as stated in MA63. We hope to rectify this by amending some critical provisions in the Federal Constitution,” he said in a statement today.

On Saturday, Wan Junaidi said the government, with assistance from the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC), would be looking at amending several critical legal provisions in MA63 to reinstate the rights of the people in Sabah and Sarawak as per the agreement upon the formation of Malaysia.

Based on the estimated timeline, Wan Junaidi said the first reading of the bill could take place on Oct 26, followed by the second reading on Oct 28.

The AGC is scheduled to come up with a blue bill on this, which will be presented to MPs, hopefully on Oct 25, he said.

“While the AGC is reviewing the legal provisions, we have already started an engagement exercise to explain the matters to key stakeholders including MPs, Sabah and Sarawak leaders as well as the attorney-generals in the two states,” he said.

Wan Junaidi said to date, the initiative had received the support of Sabah Chief Minister Hajiji Noor, and that he would soon be meeting with Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg to officially discuss the matter.

Depending on the success of the engagement exercise, Wan Junaidi said he was aiming to have a special meeting on MA63 to be chaired by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Oct 21.

Subsequently, he said a special paper on MA63 would be presented by the prime minister to the members of the Cabinet the next day (Oct 22).

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