Historical day for Dewan Rakyat constitution amendment to recognise MA63 passed
14 Dec 2021
By Farah Salim
KUALA LUMPUR: The Dewan Rakyat has made a history today as the Bill to amend the Federal Constitution related to the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63) has been passed with a majority of more than two-thirds through a bloc vote.
The two-thirds majority was obtained by two division votes, respectively on the second and third readings as stipulated in Article 159 of the Federal Constitution. This would strengthen the position of Sabah and Sarawak in the Federation of Malaysia.
The bill garnered the support of 200 MPs on the second reading and 199 voted in favor of it on the third reading.
Meanwhile, a total of 20 MPs were not present on the second reading, while 21 were not present at the third reading.
The decision was announced by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun.
Earlier, when tabling the amendments of the bill, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the amendment was in line with the government's transformation agenda to restore the people's confidence, including foreign investors, ensure political stability and national policy towards sustainable socio-economic development.
The Bill proposed to amend Clause 2 of Article 1 of the Federal Constitution to say the states of the Federation comprises:
(a) the States of Malaya namely Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Penang, Selangor and Terengganu
(b) the States of Borneo namely 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 seek to amend Article 161A by replacing Clause 6 (a) to say that in regard to Sarawak, the indigenous races of Sarawak are as stated in the state law; and also to remove Clause 7.
Amendments are also proposed to Clause 2 of Article 160 of the Constitution by inserting the definition of Malaysia Day and replacing the definition of Federation in the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement dated 9 July 1963 and pursuant to the agreement on the separation of Singapore from Malaysia as an independent and sovereign state dated 7 August 1965.