Putrajaya awaits Sarawak ‘package’ of constitutional changes

The federal minister for legal affairs, Liew Vui Keong, held discussions with Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari today.

KUCHING: Any decision to retable a constitutional amendment on the status of Sabah and Sarawak will depend on a motion to be debated by the Sarawak state legislative assembly, federal law minister Liew Vui Keong said today.

He said the federal government could determine its next move after taking into account the recommendations made by the Sarawak state assembly.

The legislature is expected to hold a debate tomorrow on a motion to amend the federal constitution and restore the status of Sabah and Sarawak on par with the States of Malaya as equal partners in forming the federation of Malaysia.

Earlier this month, a proposed amendment tabled by the federal government was defeated in the Dewan Rakyat.

Liew had a meeting with the Chief Minister, Abang Johari Openg, here today which he said was “fruitful”. He said they had agreed to look into the various issues including the relocation of the Registry of the High Court, extension of the Legal Profession Act 1976 and the Malaysia Agreement, which were brought up by Abang Johari.

These issues would be dealt one by one separately as they are not interrelated.

Liew said he was glad that Sarawakians were keen to reclaim their rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963, by having a debate in their state assembly. Liew said Abang Johari had requested that all aspects to be looked into, as the Malaysia Agreement comprised a package of policies “and there is no such thing as piecemeal in this case.

“I’m not sure what the package is,” Liew said. “We will have to wait for the decision on the motion before the state assembly because they represent the people’s voices.”