Chief Minister suggests amending Article 1 of the Constitution so that Sarawak regains equal status to Malaya as a founding partner in Malaysia
PETALING JAYA: Sarawak chief minister Adenan Satem has spoken of the state’s determination to regain its status as an equal partner of Malaya in founding Malaysia in 1963.
He said an amendment to the Constitution in 1976 had turned Sarawak and Sabah into merely one of 14 states in the federation.
In a speech in Kuching, Adenan said his government intended to reverse the change, even if it meant an amendment to the Federal Constitution to restore Article 1 to its original form, according to Malay Mail Online.
He contended that the 1976 amendment was null and void because it breached the Malaysia Agreement, the Inter-Governmental Committee Report, the Cobbold Commission Report, and other related recommendations.
Article 1 of the constitution originally stated that the states of Malaysia comprised: all the states of the Federation of Malaya; the state of Sarawak; the state of Sabah; and the state of Singapore.
The 1976 amendment resulted in Sarawak and Sabah (Singapore left Malaysia in 1966) being named together with the 11 Malayan states, instead of being named separately.
He pointed out that Sarawak was a founding state of the Malaysian federation. “We are a party to the Malaysia Agreement signed in 1963. When you are party to the agreement, you are equal in status,” he was quoted as saying.