Bill to amend Federal Constitution, with MA63 in mind, to be tabled before end-Oct, says law minister

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar. ― Bernama pic
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar. ― Bernama pic

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KUCHING, Oct 6 — A Bill to amend the Federal Constitution to bring relevant provisions in line with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) is expected to be tabled in Parliament before the end of the month, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said today. 

He said he hopes that the first reading of the Bill will take place on October 26, followed by the second reading on October 28. 

“While the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) is reviewing the legal provisions, the ministry has already started its engagement exercise to explain matters to key stakeholders, including members of Parliament, Sabah and Sarawak leaders as well as the attorneys general in the two states,” he said in a statement. 

He added to-date, the initiative has received support from Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Noor, while the meeting with Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg will be held soon. 

Depending on the success of the engagement exercise, he said he aims to hold a special meeting on MA63, to be chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, on October 21. 

He added that a special paper on MA63 will be presented by the prime minister to the Cabinet the following day. 

He said based on the ministry’s tentative timeline, the AGC is scheduled to come up with the Blue Bill on the amendments, which will then be presented to MPs on October 25. 

Wan Junaidi explained the legislative amendments to the Federal Constitution are crucial as this would provide clarity to the position of Sabah and Sarawak as well as their people, particularly the indigenous communities of the two Borneo states. 

“Over the years, there has been an erosion in Sabah and Sarawak rights as stated in the Malaysia Agreement 1963. 

“We hope to rectify this by amending some critical provisions in the Federal Constitution,” he added.

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