Dr M: Bill fulfills Sabah, Sarawak desire to return to Malaysia Agreement

Malaysia Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a joint news conference with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Putrajaya April 9, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Malaysia Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a joint news conference with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Putrajaya April 9, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said the amendment to the Federal Constitution on the status of Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia was just the beginning of the move to restore the rights of the two states through the Dewan Rakyat.

The prime minister said that the proposed amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution will be followed by other amendments to laws that affect the interests of the two states.

“This amendment is done as a way to fulfill the demands of Sabah and Sarawak state governments, who want the position of Sabah and Sarawak under Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to be returned to its position during the formation of Malaysia in 1963, in line with the spirit and intention of the Malaysia Agreement 1963,” he said when tabling the amendment Bill in Parliament today.

“As informed in this Dewan Rakyat, the special cabinet committee is still in the process of discussion and negotiation, with regards to issues relating to the rights of Sabah and Sarawak, under the said Malaysia Agreement 1963.

“This negotiation will go on until an agreement, consensus and compromise can be reached and accepted well by all parties. After the proposed amendment to this Article 1(2) is agreed upon, other necessary amendments will follow suit based on the ongoing negotiations,” Dr Mahathir explained.

The Bill is due to be debated and put to vote today.

Its passage will require bipartisan support as Pakatan Harapan (PH) only commands a simple majority in Parliament while changes to the Federal Constitution require the backing of two-thirds of the House.

The proposed amendment seeks to list Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Perlis, Selangor, and Terengganu as states of Malaya, while Sabah and Sarawak would be called the Borneo State, overall forming the States of the Federation.