By John Isaac
PRIME Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the federal government have agreed to review certain definitions under Article 160 of the Federal Constitution, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
“The prime minister has agreed that we have to look at Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) so that Article 160 will incorporate MA63. Currently, the Federal Constitution is based on the Malaya Agreement 1957.
“After this, there will be a decision that needs to be made between the federal and state governments on the issue of MA63.
“This will facilitate a good relationship between the state and federal government,” he said as reported by New Sarawak Tribune.
Abang Johari said after this was stated when he spoke at a function in Lubok Antu on Tuesday certain news outlets misinterpreted the state-federal ties that he mentioned as being political rather than constitutional.
“I want to thank the prime minister for agreeing to have a further discussion to amend the constitution on this matter,” he said.
The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman said the proposed constitutional amendment has nothing to do with GPS, adding that it was not a member of PN.
“What we are talking about are Sarawak’s rights and autonomy and when we talk about MA63, (Putrajaya) agreed. I said to them, the federation now is based on the 1957 Malaya Agreement. We want it to be based on MA63.
“Only by doing this, the relationship between the federal government and state governments under the constitution is realigned,” he said.
The chief minister said this has been Sarawak’s position in the past, adding that the failed constitutional amendment to Article 1(2) by Pakatan Harapan (PH) to change Sabah and Sarawak’s status in 2019 did not address Article 160.
“We want to change this as (the Federal Constitution) is based on Malaya Agreement 1957 and if there is any problem, legally, the court will interpret it as such,” he said.