Explain significance of ‘wilayah’

Dr Kelvin Yii

KUCHING: The federal government must explain to Sabahans and Sarawakians the significance of referring to the two states as ‘wilayah’ (region), says Dr Kelvin Yii.

The Bandar Kuching MP said Parliament must convene to clarify this as the term was done without any changes or amendments to the Federal Constitution.

“We do not want this merely to be a cosmetic change without any legal authority, creating a false sense of security as a lure for the upcoming state elections.

“This can be likened to where someone uses his ‘glamour name’ to look good, but legally in his IC, the name is different thus giving that ‘glamour name’ no legal standing at all,” he said in a Facebook post on Friday (April 9).

Dr Yii expressed concern that the name change, without a constitutional amendment of Article 1(2) defining the two state’s special status, there would be no differentiation of the term ‘region’ to that of the federal territories.

“What will differentiate our ‘wilayah’ from that of Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur and Labuan, which is under the jurisdiction and authority of the federal government who create and approve laws for that territory?

“This is important as this concerns our rights and whether we are indirectly affirming more control of the federal government over Sabah and Sarawak.”

Dr Yii said Parliament should open immediately as it was the best platform for such substantive discussion and debate.

“There must be greater accountability when it comes to discussion of our rights under Malaysia Agreement 1963 as it affects us all.

“Let us not make the same mistakes in the past under Barisan Nasional when such rights were taken away without the people knowing as it was done purely by one side of the political divide.”