PM asked to discuss ‘wilayah’ status in Parliament

Datuk Dr John Lau Pang Heng

KUCHING: Sarawak Patriots Association (SPA) said today (April 13) Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak needed to have a round table discussion on any changes to the status of Sarawak and Sabah.

It said the round table discussion was required to reach consensus and execute a Tripartite Agreement with agreed terms to amend Malaysia Act, 1963, Annex A to Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Federal Constitution under Article 8 of MA63.

SPA chairman Datuk Dr John Lau Pang Heng said that then the respective Sabah and Sarawak’s Legislative Councils must approve the amendments before they were brought to Parliament for approval.

He added that the Members of Parliament could not bind their respective Legislative Council by voting any Acts in Parliament.

“A prime minister’s announcement using his executive power may neither be constitutional and politically correct.

“SPA therefore calls upon Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to take proactive and positive actions to convene Parliament to discuss the status of Sarawak and Sabah in the Federation of Malaysia,” he said.   

He added that SPA was also unsure if prolonged discussions were healthy.

“SPA carried out a survey to find out how Sarawakians felt after Muhyiddin referred to Sarawak as ‘wilayah’. 500 people responded to the survey and 88 percent of those surveyed felt that the prime minister did not have the authority to use his executive power to make that announcement and it is Parliament that has the power to change the status of Sarawak and Sabah   in Malaysia,” he said.

Lau added that 95 percent of the respondents confirmed that they would prefer to amend the Federal Constitution Article 1(2) to be in line with the MA 63 annex A article 4 (2) where 4 (2-b) stated “Article: 4 (2) (b) The Borneo States, namely, Sabah and Sarawak”.

“In fact, before the formation of Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah were Nation States. On September 16, 1963, Sabah, Sarawak, Malaya and Singapore formed Malaysia. 

“These were the original four partners in the formation of the Federation of Malaysia. However, Singapore left Malaysia in 1965.

“It was only on August 27, 1976, Sarawak and Sabah was relegated to a state, just like Johor, Selangor, Kedah and other states in Malaya. It contradicted the original MA63 Annex A,” he said.