#TamatDarurat, Current Affairs, National

Restore the rights of Sabah & Sarawak through Parliament, not give trivial Wilayah ‘glamour name’


Without amending the Federal Constitution, calling Sabah and Sarawak ‘Wilayah’ is nothing more than just a ‘cosmetic change of name’!


The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bandar Kuching, Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen iterated that the recent change of Sabah and Sarawak from ‘Negeri’ to ‘Wilayah’ has no legal standing to it unless changes and amendments were made to the Federal Constitution. Calling the purported decision by the Federal Government as nothing more than a ‘cosmetic change of name’, Kelvin in a statement today questioned whether it was made just to create a false sense of security as a lure for the upcoming Sarawak State Elections.

Furthermore, the DAP lawmaker likened the term change as to someone using a ‘glamour name’ to look good but in reality, the name is different on the Identification Card (IC), thus the name can’t actually be used in a legal context. He also referred to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s speech last week in which he mentioned that the Special Council on Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) will be announcing its decision on several issues including amending the Federal Constitution and socioeconomic matters concerning Sabah and Sarawak.

The Borneo Post article screenshot on Muhyiddin’s changed term for Sabah & Sarawak.

Following this, Kelvin questioned whether this trivial change of terms is part of what is supposed to be announced. The Bandar Kuching MP said,


“Don’t tell me this ‘cosmetic change of name’ is all that is supposed to be announced?”


Kelvin thus urges the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government to reconvene Parliament as the Legislative body is the best place to have a proper debate and input towards amending the Federal Constitution and restoring the rights of Sabah and Sarawak under MA63. The findings of the Special Council can then be properly tabled if it’s done in Parliament and a motion can be passed to amend the Federal Constitution with two third majority support.

Unless it is tabled and debated in Parliament, these matters are nothing but empty promises and mere ‘lip service’ before the State Election. The DAP MP further clarified,


“Without a constitutional amendment of Article 1(2) that clearly sets our special status, what will differentiate our ‘Wilayah’ with that of Wilayah Perseketuan Kuala Lumpur & Labuan which is under the jurisdiction and authority of the Federal Government who create and approve laws for that territory?”


Kelvin further stressed that this is of the utmost importance considering it concerns the rights of Sabahans and Sarawakians. Worse, it could even indirectly affirm more control of the Federal Government over East Malaysia.

Besides that, the accountability and transparency of the Special Council on MA63 appointed by PN is also rather questionable. Previously under Pakatan Harapan, a Special Committee was elected consisting of politicians and leaders of both political divide, Chief Ministers of both Sabah & Sarawak, legal experts, academicians and even NGOs. 

MP for Bandar Kuching, Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen.

However, under PN, the members of the Special Council are not made known to the public. More worryingly, the discussion is only happening between parties on one political divide with very little accountability to the people who are affected by it.

In regards to this, the Bandar Kuching MP calls upon PN to not repeat the same mistake made under BN in regards to MA63. He iterated,


“Let us not make the same mistakes in the past under BN when such rights were taken away without the people knowing as it was done purely by one side of the political divide.”


If Muhyiddin and PN is really genuine and sincere about restoring the MA63 rights of Sabah and Sarawak, then there is no need to wait until the next General Election. Instead, PN can let Parliament reconvene and let the MPs as the representative voice of the rakyat to debate and discuss on the matter with full transparency and accountability. – The Rocket.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *