Karim chides federal ministers over delay on the Federal Constitution Amendment Bill

Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sport MInister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah speaking to the press. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

KUCHING: Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah has poured scorn on certain federal ministers who contributed to the delay in tabling of the proposed constitutional amendments relating to Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

The State Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister expressed his disappointment as the Bill to amend several provisions of the Federal Constitution could have been tabled this week but was rescheduled.

“Personally, I am a bit disappointed as the Bill could have been tabled during this sitting but (was rescheduled) as some Cabinet members needed an explanation from the Attorney General (AG).

“To me, if the ministers do not understand the Bill, please read it – there is no need for the AG to elaborate,” he told reporters when met after a function here on Wednesday (Oct 29).

Abdul Karim was asked to comment on the postponement for the tabling of the bill to amend several provisions in the Federal Constitution relating to MA63.

The state minister said a point of contention was the definition of “federation” in the Federal Constitution – which currently refers to the Malaya Agreement 1957 instead of MA63.

“At this time (1957), Malaysia was not yet formed – so what happens to the federation between Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak?

“This has to be amended. It (the delay due to the ministers seeking clarification) is just a small matter,” he said.

Abdul Karim also hoped that the Bill could be tabled in Parliament soon.

“This has been worked on by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Parliament) Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar to restore our eroded rights.

“My hope is that this Bill can be tabled in Parliament soon and we don’t want it to be further delayed.

“If possible, it should be tabled during the current sitting but however that may be difficult as we will also have the tabling of the National Budget. Most probably, we will have to wait for the next session,” he said.