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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

PM has agreed to relook Constitution, says Abang Johari

 

Abang Johari Openg (with red mask) during his visit to Lubok Antu yesterday. He has clarified a statement he made there that he was relooking ties with the federal government over MA63. (Bernama pic)

KUCHING: Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg today clarified that the decision on the state’s relations with the Perikatan Nasional-led (PN) federal government was “something positive” related to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

He said Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had agreed to relook amending Article 160 (2) of the Federal Constitution as demanded by the Sarawak government.

“Actually, when I said we will make a decision soon on the state’s relations in the federation of Malaysia at Lubok Antu yesterday, I was actually referring to MA63,” he told reporters today.

“The prime minister has agreed to have further discussions on the matter and (we are expecting) a decision to amend the Constitution that will strengthen the relationship between the state and federal governments, in line with MA63.

“The news headlines today sounded like something political. I wish to clarify that it is about MA63,” he said.

Abang Johari explained Article 160 (2) of the Constitution must be amended since the interpretation of the phrase “the Federation” still refers to the federation established under the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1957.

“So, we want it to be amended as ‘the Federal Constitution established under the Malaysia Agreement 1963’ instead, which would give force to MA63,” he said.

He said Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) didn’t support the constitutional amendment on the status of Sabah and Sarawak as tabled by the Pakatan Harapan-led government in 2019 as it did not include such an amendment.

The chief minister also reiterated that GPS was a separate entity and not a member of PN. He said he would always prioritise the spirit of “Sarawak First” in any matter that he deals with. - FMT

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