Sharifah Hasidah: Govt in wait-and-see stance over ‘state’


KUCHING: The Sarawak government is adopting a ‘wait-and-see’ approach before commenting further on the status of Sarawak.

Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali said as of now, the proposed amendment of Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to restore the status of Sarawak as an equal partner with Peninsular Malaysia has yet to be tabled in Parliament.

“We will wait for the Bill to be tabled in Parliament and only then we will comment further. For now, let’s wait first,” she told reporters after officiating at the launch of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Samariang branch at the old State Legislative Assembly (DUN) complex here yesterday.

She was asked to comment on whether the term ‘state’ would be dropped for Sarawak and if this matter would be tabled in the upcoming DUN Sarawak sitting as proposed by Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How.

She pointed out that once the Bill acquires the two-thirds majority support that it needs to be passed, the Sarawak government would perhaps endorse the decision.

She stressed that it is not merely about amending Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution, as what is most crucial is for the rights of Sarawak as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) to be returned.

Since Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong announced the government’s decision to table the proposed amendment, there has been many speculations on what would the status of equal partnership with Peninsular Malaysia entail for Sarawak, should the Bill be passed.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had on Saturday expressed that Sarawak would no longer use the word ‘state’ once the amendment to the Federal Constitution is passed.

He, however, stressed that Sarawak currently remains as a state until the Bill is passed in Parliament.