Call for motion to debate Sabah, Sarawak status in Sarawak Assembly

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KUCHING (April 15): The Sarawak Association for People’s Aspirations (SAPA) wants the Sarawak Government to move a motion in the upcoming meeting of the State Legislative Assembly to debate the status of Sabah and Sarawak in the Federal Constitution.

SAPA president Dominique Ng said a proper debate is necessary because the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Government has said that it wants this matter to be a holistic and not a cosmetic amendment.

“We want a proper process of consultation with the people of Sarawak. We will not be satisfied with the Negeri status, let alone Wilayah and we must show that we are together on this,” he told a press conference here today. Also present was SAPA publicity and information chief Peter John Jaban.

Peter John called on Sarawakians to participate in a gathering on April 28 at Padang Merdeka here to jointly urge the State Government to move the motion in the State Assembly meeting scheduled from April 29 to May 9.

He said that according to the terms of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), the proposed constitutional amendment should be redrafted to reflect the Borneo states as Negara, as they were regarded up until 1976.

“In English, a State can refer either to a sovereign territory or to a small part of a federal territory.

“But in the Malay language, everything becomes very clear in the differences between a Negara, a Negeri and a Wilayah. The people are not taken in,” he said.

Last Tuesday, the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) Government failed to obtain the two-thirds majority in Parliament to amend Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to restore Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners of peninsular Malaysia in the Federation of Malaysia.