Tabling of constitution amendments expected end of October

Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi

KUCHING: The Bill to amend the Federal Constitution to bring certain relevant provisions in line with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) is expected to be tabled in Parliament by the end of October.

Federal Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said based on the ministry’s timeline, he hoped that the first reading of the Bill could take place on Oct 26 followed by the second reading on Oct 28.

“While the Attorney General’s Chamber (AGC) is reviewing legal provisions, the ministry has already started its engagement exercise to explain the matters to key stakeholders, including MPs, Sabah and Sarawak leaders as well as the Attorney- General in the two states,’’ he said on Wednesday (Oct 6).

To date, the initiative has received support from Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Noor and the minister would be meeting with Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to discuss the matter soon.

Wan Junaidi stated that depending on the success of the engagement exercise, he hoped to have a special meeting on MA63 to be chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Oct 21.

Subsequent to this, he said a special paper on MA63 would be presented by the prime minister to the Cabinet on Oct 22.

“Based on the ministry’s tentative timeline, the AGC is scheduled to come up with the Blue Bill on this which will be presented to MPs, hopefully on Oct 25.

“The legislative amendments to the Federal Constitution are crucial as it would provide clarity to the position of Sabah and Sarawak as well as the people particularly the natives of Sabah and Sarawak.

“Over the years, there has been erosion in Sabah and Sarawak rights as stated in the MA63. We hope to rectify this by amending some critical provisions in the Federal Constitution.”