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Sabah, Sarawak should hold emergency assembly sitting, says Warisan man



28 Nov 2021

By Wartawan Nabalu News


KOTA KINABALU: Warisan’s Tungku Assemblyman Assafal P Alian has called on Sabah and Sarawak to hold an emergency State Legislative Assembly sitting to discuss amendments procedures related to the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63).


He said the federal government should not turn its back on Sabah and Sarawak when amendments involving the two states are made.


“Currently, we do not even know when the amendment will be mentioned. So how do we prepare ourselves for the debate if the matter of the amendment is still a secret?


"The amendment through the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) paragraph 30 allows us to make this amendment by only requiring a moderate majority vote in Parliament. Thus, Sabah and Sarawak governments should choose this path," he said in a statement.


He was commenting on the tabling of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2021 for the first reading in the Dewan Rakyat.


The bill aimed at amending the Federal Constitution was tabled by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar on Nov 3.


According to the Bill, Article 1 of the Federal Constitution is proposed to be amended by substituting Clause (2) for the Federal States to consist of:


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


(b) The States of Borneo namely Sabah and Sarawak.


A proposed amendment for Clause 2 of Article 160 of the Federal 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.


In addition, the bill also seeks to amend Article 161A of the Federal Constitution by substituting for paragraph (a) of Clause 6 which is “in relation to Sarawak, a person who is a citizen and who belongs to one of the races specified in State law as an original race for that State” and deleting Clause 7.


Assaffal said, according to article 159 (4) (bb) of the federal constitution, the status or position of Sabah and Sarawak as enshrined in the 1963 Malaysia Agreement Section 4 (2) cannot be changed.


He said when article 1 (2) was amended in 1976, it not only violated the Malaysia Agreement but became an unconstitutional amendment because it violated article 159 (4) (bb).


“Looking at article 161E, article 159 (4) (bb) can only be amended if the amendment is for the purpose of equating and assimilating the status of Sabah or Sarawak like the status of Malaya.


"It must be remembered that when Malaysia was formed for the purpose of decolonization, it was on the basis of Equal status and the Right to Self-Determination as provided by Resolution 1514 of the UN Charter," he added.


He said the only difference between Sabah or Sarawak and Malaya was the status of independence, where the two Borneo states had not yet achieved their independence like Malaya which had achieved independence on 31 August 1957.


"Therefore, the amendment to article 1 (2) can only be done if it is for the purpose of giving independence to Sabah or Sarawak," he said.

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