Monday, January 24, 2022

‘East Malaysia’ enough, deputy minister says on ‘mainland Malaysia’ proposal

Hanifah Hajar Taib says using 'mainland Malaysia' to refer to Sabah and Sarawak will not result in anything other than providing an easy reference.

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The proposal to brand Sabah and Sarawak as mainland Malaysia will not have any positive impact on the two states, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Hanifah Hajar Taib said today.

She said the government is of the view that the existing term of East Malaysia as provided by law is adequate.

Based on studies done by the Attorney-General’s Chambers, she said the term “mainland Malaysia” had never been used in the Federal Constitution or other laws.

“Such a branding will not result in anything because it is only for easy reference, and will not add to or subtract the privileges enjoyed by any state,” she said during a question-and-answer session in the Dewan Rakyat.

She was answering a supplementary question from Madius Tangau (Upko-Tuaran) on whether the government intends to look into branding Sabah and Sarawak as mainland Malaysia as the Federation of Malaya had long been named Peninsular Malaysia.

She said existing laws use terms like East Malaysia and Peninsular Malaysia to describe the regions of the country.

Furthermore, the proposed amendments to Article 1(2) under the Constitutional (Amendment) Bill 2021, if approved, would restore the term “Borneo states” to refer to Sabah and Sarawak, she said.

The bill was tabled for first reading on Nov 3 and is expected to be tabled for second reading in the current session of the Dewan Rakyat.

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