Sarawak assembly to debate Malaysia Agreement, Federal Constitution

Sarawak State Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Asfia Awang Nasar says he expects a lively debate on the two motions, April 28, 2019. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
Sarawak State Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Asfia Awang Nasar says he expects a lively debate on the two motions, April 28, 2019. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

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KUCHING, April 28 — Two motions on issues related to the Federal Constitution and the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) will be debated at the Sarawak state legislative assembly starting tomorrow.

Sarawak State Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Asfia Nasar said today he expected the House to have a lively debate on the two motions which will be tabled for debate on Tuesday.

“The first motion will be tabled by Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relationship and Project Monitoring Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali and the second, by DAP’s Pujut lawmaker Dr Ting Tiong Choon,” he told reporters after attending a pre-council meeting of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) here.

He said these two motions are similar in nature as both touch on MA63 and Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution that lists the states of the Malaysian federation.

However, he said the motion by Hasidah will be more comprehensive in nature.

“The details will be known when she tables the motion later,” he said.

He said on April 9, the federal government in Parliament tabled Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 on Article 1(2) which he said was “too narrow and meaningless”.

He said during the debate in Parliament nine Members of Parliament had pointed out that any amendment to the Constitution that affected the two Borneo states must be first referred to their respective legislative bodies.

“You can’t just arbitrarily bring the amendment to Parliament without referring to the state assemblies of Sarawak and Sabah,” he said.

He said what the Sarawak state assembly proposes will be a comprehensive amendment to the Federal Constitution.

Asfia said what the GPS state government wants to do to is reclaim the rights which have been eroded since 1963, explaining the reason for proposing a comprehensive amendment to the Federal Constitution.

He also reminded that the Cobbold Commission, Inter-Government Report and MA63 are the substratum on which the edifice of the Federal Constitution is constructed.

He said these three documents provided safeguards and protection on the state’s rights as conditions for Sarawak to agree to form the Federation of Malaysia with Malaya, Sabah and Singapore in 1963.

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