Sarawak assembly unanimously approves motion to protect rights

Sarawak Assistant Law, Federal-State Relations and Project Monitoring Minister Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali.

KUCHING: The state assembly unanimously approved a motion tonight asking for any amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to have clear provisions in protecting the rights and safeguards accorded to Sarawak when it agreed to join Malaysia.

A total of 47 assemblymen from both sides of the divide debated the motion, which was tabled by Assistant Law, Federal-State Relations and Project Monitoring Minister Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali.

Each member of the house was given 10 minutes to take part in the debate.

Sharifah said the motion was to give the house the opportunity to express in “clear and explicit terms” what any future amendment to the Federal Constitution must include.

In her winding-up address, she said the state would insist that the draft of any amendment to Article 1(2) would be thoroughly vetted by members of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) Technical Committee.

“The state government will make sure that any amendment to the Constitution to restore Sarawak’s status is done comprehensively and not in a piecemeal manner.

“It will not be an easy journey. It will not be like a walk in the park but walk we will,” she said.

On Monday, de facto law minister Liew Vui Keong said any decision to retable a constitutional amendment to restore the status of Sarawak and Sabah would depend on the motion debated by the Sarawak legislative assembly.

He said the federal government would only be able to determine its next move after taking into account the recommendations made by the state assembly.