More time needed for claims under MA63 that require constitutional amendments

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THE Sarawak government will review the need to make any amendments deemed necessary to the Sarawak Constitution and Ordinances.

Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department (Law, MA63 and State-Federal Relations) Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali said the Federal Government has made amendments to Article 1 (2) of the Federal Constitution, which came into effect on Feb 11, 2022.

“This amendment has restored the status of Sabah and Sarawak as before the amendment to the Federal Constitution was made in 1976, in which the amendment has placed Sarawak as one of the states with other states in the country,” she said.

However, she assured that the Sarawak government will, from time to time, review the need to make any amendments it deems necessary to ensure that the interests of Sarawak are safeguarded.

She said this in response to Mohamad Chee Kadir (GPS-Kabong) on whether the government will make more amendments to the Sarawak Constitution and Ordinances so that it is in line with Sarawak’s status as a region at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here today.

On supplementary questions asked by Chee on steps taken by the Sarawak government to ensure that Sarawak’s position is guaranteed and preserved in accordance with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Amendment to the Federal Constitution, Hasidah said the latest steps taken include the passing of the Sarawak State Constitution on Feb 15, 2022, which contains the amendment to change designation of Chief Minister to Premier.

She said this has raised the status of Sarawak by placing Sarawak in a different position from other states in Malaysia, as a region.

Asked on the time frame set to identify and obtain Sarawak’s rights in accordance with the MA63 and the Federal Constitution, she said that the Sarawak Government aimed to resolve the claims as soon as possible.

“However, there are claims that require amendments to the Constitution and the law and it will necessarily take a long time to resolve.

“For claims involving administrative issues, that can be resolved in a shorter period of time,” she said.

Hasidah stressed that the Sarawak government will continue to increase its efforts to ensure that the claims that have been made, are resolved so that the aspirations and expectations of the government and the people of Sarawak, can be realised in line with MA63.

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