KUCHING: “Sarawak is not a state, it is a wilayah (region)”, declared the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who openly showed his recognition of Sarawak as one of the three regions of Malaysia as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
The Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal government acknowledged a proposal by Sarawak government to amend Article 160(2) of the Federal Constitution on the definition of the phrase Federation of Malaysia, he said when speaking at a townhall session ‘Wawasan Kemakmuran Bersama 2030@Sarawak’ at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) on April 1. Tan Sri Muhyiddin said the Perikan Nasional Government, which he led, in principle acknowledges that Sarawak is a region.
However, an amendment has to be made on the Constitution to constitute the change. He said the PN government at present does not have the majority support of members of Parliament to make the necessary amendment.
He hopes PN Government will be able to win big of more than two-thirds majority in the next general elections. Then it will be able to make the amendment as required by the Constitution.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin said the people of Sarawak could have his words on this important issue to the people and Sarawak. He assured that it was an obligation of the PN government that everyone should get a fair share of development of the country.
Such commitment has already been reflected through the establishment of special portfolio for Sabah and Sarawak Affairs in the federal Cabinet. Besides the Federal government has also established the MA63 Special Council (MKMA 63) to ensure that the fair and equitable rights of Malaysians in Sarawak can be properly preserved and protected.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin said the federal government is examining matters relating to the rights of Sarawak, with some progress already being made through the roles of the three working committees recommending to MKMA63 on proposed solutions to specific issues related to legislation, state security and socio-economy.
He said this is done in line with the rights of the states of Sabah and Sarawak within the national legal framework. He stated that the Federal government would assess all claims fairly and gave a guarantee that the rights of Sarawak would continue to be protected in accordance with the Federal Constitution.