Sarawak not a state in Malaysia, says Adenan

PETALING JAYA: Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem deems the 1976 amendment to the Federal Constitution to downgrade Sabah and Sarawak to states as unlawful.

He said Sarawak had made a mistake on this matter then but now there is no need to determine who was at fault, Sin Chew Daily reported today.

He did not discount the possibility that a motion may be moved in Parliament to amend the constitution to set things right, if necessary.

He stressed that Sarawak is currently negotiating with the federal government to have its rightful status reinstated in the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement.

Speaking when officiating the opening of a seminar on Sarawak history themed "A Journey to Merdeka: Sarawak in Malaysia" in Kuching on Sunday, he pointed out that certain part of the constitution are not lawful.

He was referring to the amendment to the Federal Constitution on Malaysia's territories.

Before Aug 27, 1976, Article 1(2) read:

The states of the Federation shall be
(a) The states of Peninsular Malaysia, namely, Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Perlis, Selangor and Terengganu; and

(b) The Bornean states of Sabah and Sarawak.
After the amendment, Article 1(2) now reads:

The states of the Federation shall be Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Perlis, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor and Terengganu.

Adenan said the amendment has downgraded the status of Sabah and Sarawak from equal partners as Peninsular Malaysia to just two states out of 13.

"That is a big difference. Sarawak is a partner in Malaysia. It signed the (Malaysia) Agreement with the United Kingdom, Federation of Malaya, North Borneo (Sabah) and Singapore (relating to the formation of Malaysia in 1963).

"It is an agreement with international standing and was recorded in the United Nations registry. It cannot be amended," he said.

He stressed that Sarawak only wants what is rightfully hers and this had nothing to do with any call for secession.