KUALA LUMPUR: The bill to amend the Federal Constitution to conform to the provisions of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) was tabled for second reading in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (December 14th).
Minister to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (Photo) said the proposed bill seeks to amend four constitutional amendments, including Sections 1(2), 160(2) and 161A(6) of the Federal Constitution.
Wan Junaidi explained that among the amendments proposed in the bill, there was the modification of Article 1, paragraph 2, of the Constitution, which consisted in restoring the article to its original provision as it was included in the 1963 Constitution.
Also in the proposed amendments, the States of the Federation would be defined as the States of Malaysia (i.e. the States of Peninsular Malaysia) and the States of Borneo (i.e. Sabah and Sarawak).
Wan Junaidi said the government was also proposing to amend Section 160(2) to include “Malaysia Day” on September 16, 1963, which was the date of the formation of Malaysia and the mark of the end of the sovereignty of the Queen of England. over Sarawak and Sabah, or North Borneo as it was then known, as well as the end of British rule over both territories.
Currently, there is no mention of Malaysia Day or Hari Malaysia in the Constitution, he said.
It was on this date that Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore agreed to form the Federation with Malaysia, thus creating Malaysia. Prior to this, the date of Malaysia Day had never been stated in the Federal Constitution.
In the amendments, the government had proposed to redefine “the Federation” under Section 160(2) as “the Federation originally formed under the Perjanjian Persekutuan Tanah Melayu 1957 and later finalized in July 1963 between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Malayan Federation, North Borneo (Sabah), Sarawak and Singapore.”
The proposed amendment continues: “The Federation, known as Malaysia, shall comprise the colonies of North Borneo and Sarawak, and Singapore and the existing states of the Malay Federation, Singapore leaving the Federation on 7 August 1965.”
This new definition would replace the current one which simply stated that the Federation means “the Federation established under the 1957 Agreement on the Federation of Malaya”.
The government was also seeking to amend Section 161A(6) regarding the definition of native Sarawak.
The proposed amendment would see Sarawak redefine “natives” as any citizen of Sarawak (as defined in the state constitution on races) and remove section 161A(7) which defines different natives.