Friday, January 21, 2022

Amendments to constitution show govt’s commitment to Sabah, Sarawak, says law minister

Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar says they are also to restore public and investor confidence in the government.

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The amendments to the Federal Constitution to be in line with the government’s commitment to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) were made to strengthen the position of Sabah and Sarawak in the Federation of Malaysia, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

He said the amendments, as stated in the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2021, were also in line with the government’s transformation agenda to restore the confidence of the public as well as foreign investors in the government’s capability to ensure political stability and the smooth implementation of the country’s policies toward sustainable socio-economic development.

“(Mutual) understanding, as well as political, economic and social stability, expected to be achieved through this bill, are vital to creating the solid foundation of the Malaysian Family,” he said when tabling the bill for second reading at the Dewan Rakyat today.

The first reading of the bill was done on Nov 3.

Wan Junaidi said the proposed amendments had been agreed to by the state governments of both Sabah and Sarawak before being approved by the Special Council on MA63 and the Cabinet in October.

The bill proposes to amend Clause 2 of Article 1 of the Federal Constitution to say the states of the federation comprise:

(a) the states of Malaya namely Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Penang, Selangor and Terengganu; and

(b) the Borneo states, Sabah and Sarawak.

It is also to amend Clause 2 of Article 160 to insert a new definition of “Malaysia Day” and to change the definition of “the federation” in line with the spirit of MA63 signed on July 9, 1963, and by virtue of the agreement relating to the separation of Singapore from Malaysia as an independent and sovereign state dated Aug 7, 1965.

The bill also aims to amend Article 161A by replacing Clause 6(a) to say that with regards to Sarawak, the indigenous races of Sarawak are as stated in the state law; and also to remove Clause 7.

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