Historical facts clearly show Sarawak and Sabah, not like Peninsular Malaysian states

By TIN Media | Sabah Published 1 year ago on 9 April 2021
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History shows clearly that Sarawak and Sabah cannot be categorized as other Malay peninsula states because of their very different formation from that of Malaysia.

Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, said as such that he fully agreed with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin that Sarawak should be a 'wilayah' or region.

Abdul Karim explained that the Federation of Malaya Agreement was signed in 1957 before Sarawak and Sabah formed Malaysia in 1963 with Malaya under the Malaysia Agreement.

“Because of that, we cannot be part of the smaller states. How can you put Sarawak and Perlis to be at the same level? When the Malaysia Agreement was signed, there was one signatory each representing Malaya, Sarawak, and Sabah.

“Each represented each region or territory, not every state, where there is only representative representing all the states in Malaya,” he told a press conference.

Abdul Karim believes that if Sarawak and Sabah are considered regions, they cannot be treated like other states in Peninsular Malaysia.

However, he stated that certain articles of the Federal Constitution must be amended.

“But the federal government has to make sure amendments are made to some of the articles in the Federal Constitution so that these things can be gazetted.

“You have to amend many articles, especially Articles 160 so that it will not confuse our status,” he explained.

Because of the terminology, Abdul Karim believes that many people may be puzzled by the term 'wilayah.'

He clarified that it is not the same as 'wilayah persekutuan,' or federal territory.

“While I fully agree with the Prime Minister to call Sarawak and Sabah regions, the Federal Constitution has to be amended to incorporate Sarawak and Sabah as ‘wilayah’, not as states.

“The amendment is needed to have a clear interpretation of Sabah and Sarawak as regions and not states,” he said.

While 'wilayah' could also mean territory, Abdul Karim said that he preferred to use region according to the definition of the term.

“But the facts remain; we cannot be on par with, we cannot be seen or be treated the same as other states in Malaya. We look at Malaya as one region, Sabah as one region, and Sarawak as one region.

“I would call a confederation of three regions or three territories, not a federation,” he added.


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