KUCHING: The term ‘Premier’ needs to be translated in a more focused way so as not to appear as a “duplicate” of the Prime Minister for a country.
Political analyst Professor Datuk Mohd Fadzil Abdul Rahman said, the change of the term to Malay is hotly debated, however, if referring to the dictionary, the word ‘Premier’ itself means Prime Minister.
“We have no problem with the change of terms following the status of Sarawak and Sabah as equal partners of the Federation of Malaysia, but we need other words that are more appropriate and can match the spirit of the Premier without inference to ‘Prime Minister’.
“It is also important to avoid duplication or confusion because the public knows that the Prime Minister is referring to the head of a country,” he said when contacted by Suara Sarawak, yesterday.
Following the passing of the Sarawak State Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2022 in the Legislative Assembly yesterday, the Chief Minister of Sarawak is now called ‘Premier’ and Assistant Minister becomes Deputy Minister.
However, for now, the appropriate term ‘Premier’ in the national language for the position of Sarawak’s number one leader has not yet been decided.
In this regard, Fadzil added that it would not be a problem if the word ‘Premier’ was retained because so far, many words in English are used officially in Malay.
“If it is not an exaggeration, I suggest that the word ‘Premier’ be retained and Sarawak may be able to use the term Premier Minister – showing someone as the leader.
“The term can also differentiate us from other states that use the titles of Chief Minister and Menteri Besar,” he said.
In a related matter, Fadzil stressed that despite giving suggestions and views on the issue, he still left it to the discretion and right of the Sarawak State Assembly (DUN) to determine the terms to be used later.
“So, the most important thing for me is that we need to make sure that all the rights and also the things that have been agreed in MA63 and have been neglected for so long can be restored first.
“The issue of title terms and so on for me though maybe it’s right but it’s not so urgent at the moment,” he explained.