KUCHING, April 1 — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today said his administration acknowledges a proposal by the Sarawak government to amend Article 160(2) of the Federal Constitution on the definition of the Federation of Malaysia.
However, he said changing the definition requires an amendment to the Constitution that the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government may not to be able to do without a majority control of the Dewan Rakyat.
“But after the general election, if we win big by more than two-thirds majority in Parliament, then it will give us easy passage for us to do as soon as possible.
“You can take my word for that,” the prime minister assured the audience at a townhall session at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here.
He said the federal government is thoroughly looking at matters related to Sarawak’s rights, with a number of progress being achieved by three working committees.
He said all these matters related to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) are on three specific core issues such on legislation, state security and socio-economy.
The prime minister said this is done in line with the rights of Sabah and Sarawak through national legislation and constitutional framework.
“I wish to state here that the federal government evaluates all the demands fairly and I wish to assure that the state’s rights will be protected in accordance with the Constitution,” he said.
“How can it be not fair because we are able to sit down together, both the state governments of Sarawak and Sabah have their own representatives,” he said.
He said he told his ministers involved in the discussions on MA63 to understand what the rights of Sarawak and Sabah are.
“But most importantly, we have to be fair. This is the message we have conveyed because in every meeting, every matter must be thoroughly scrutinised,” he said.
The prime minister said a date has been set for the next meeting of the working committees on MA63 to discuss the three core issues, adding some degrees of success have been achieved in the discussions.
“There will be more things forthcoming for Sabah and Sarawak,” he said.
Earlier, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg called for an amendment to Article 160(2) of the Federal Constitution with regard to the interpretation of “Federation”.
He said this is because the Malaysian Constitution is based on the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1957 rather than the MA63.
“Therefore, if the Federation is being interpreted, it refers to the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1957 while the provisions of the Constitution are based on what has been agreed to under MA63.
“But if it is amended, then we can align Article 160(2) with MA63.
“With that alignment, we can share whatever we have among the three regions of Malaysia,” he said.
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