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Change of status to regions not yet gazetted, says Sarawak premier

Abang Johari Openg says the matter is still at the proposal stage.

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Sarawak Premier Abang Johari Openg.
Sarawak Premier Abang Johari Openg.

The status of Sarawak and Sabah as regions has yet to be gazetted, with the matter to be discussed during the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) meeting between the federal government and Sarawak on Jan 19.

Sarawak Premier Abang Johari Openg said the change in the status of the two states as regions was still at the proposal stage.

"The matter has not been gazetted. It is still a proposal. Indeed, since the beginning, we (Sabah and Sarawak) should have status as regions, but the situation has changed... that is why we amended the Federal Constitution," he told reporters in Kuching yesterday.

Last Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also Umno president, said in his policy speech at the party’s general assembly that Sabah and Sarawak had been accorded the status of region and were no longer regarded as states.

However, he did not say when this would take effect.