Wrong to down­grade Sabah, S’wak to states, says Ade­nan

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS - BY KONG SEE HOH

SARAWAK Chief Min­is­ter Tan Sri Ade­nan Satem deems the 1976 amend­ment to the Fed­eral Con­sti­tu­tion to down­grade Sabah and Sarawak to states as un­law­ful.

He said Sarawak had made a mis­take on this mat­ter then but now there is no need to de­ter­mine who was at fault, Sin Chew Daily re­ported yes­ter­day.

He did not dis­count the pos­si­bil­ity that a mo­tion may be moved in Par­lia­ment to amend the con­sti­tu­tion to set things right, if nec­es­sary.

He stressed that Sarawak is cur­rently ne­go­ti­at­ing with the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to have its right­ful sta­tus re­in­stated in the spirit of the Malaysia Agree­ment.

Speak­ing when of­fi­ci­at­ing the open­ing of a sem­i­nar on Sarawak his­tory themed “A Jour­ney to Merdeka: Sarawak in Malaysia” in Kuch­ing on Sun­day, he pointed out that cer­tain parts of the con­sti­tu­tion are not law­ful.

He was re­fer­ring to the amend­ment to the Fed­eral Con­sti­tu­tion on Malaysia’s ter­ri­to­ries.

Be­fore Aug 27, 1976, Ar­ti­cle 1(2) read:

The states of the Fed­er­a­tion shall be

(a) The states of Penin­su­lar Malaysia, namely, Jo­hor, Kedah, Ke­lan­tan, Malacca, Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan, Pa­hang, Pe­nang, Perak, Perlis, Se­lan­gor and Tereng­ganu; and

(b) The Bornean states of Sabah and Sarawak.

Af­ter the amend­ment, Ar­ti­cle 1(2) now reads:

The states of the Fed­er­a­tion shall be Jo­hor, Kedah, Ke­lan­tan, Malacca, Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan, Pa­hang, Pe­nang, Perak, Perlis, Sabah, Sarawak, Se­lan­gor and Tereng­ganu.

Ade­nan said the amend­ment has down­graded the sta­tus of Sabah and Sarawak from equal part­ners as Penin­su­lar Malaysia to just two states out of 13.

“That is a big dif­fer­ence. Sarawak is a part­ner in Malaysia. It signed the (Malaysia) Agree­ment with the United King­dom, Fed­er­a­tion of Malaya, North Bor­neo (Sabah) and Sin­ga­pore (re­lat­ing to the for­ma­tion of Malaysia in 1963).

“It is an agree­ment with in­ter­na­tional stand­ing and was recorded in the United Na­tions reg­istry. It can­not be amended,” he said.

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