KUCHING: The amendments to four articles of the Federal Constitution relating to the rights of Sabah and Sarawak that were unanimously passed by the Dewan Rakyat on Dec 14 last year are now in force.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, in a Federal Gazette, had consented to the enforcement of the amendments to the four articles as of yesterday.

“What we need, we can demand, because it is the constitutional provisions. That’s the huge impact of the constitutional amendments to Sarawak and Sabah,” he told Bernama at a press conference here yesterday.

He said the amendments, enshrined in the Constitution (Amendment) Act 2022, involved the list of the states of the Federation in Clause 2 of Article 1; the definition of the Federation and the new definition of Malaysia Day in Clause 2 of Article 160; the indigenous races of Sarawak in Clause (6)(a) of Article 161A; and the removal of Clause 7 of Article 161A.

Wan Junaidi said the enforcement of the amendment would allow Sarawak to claim certain rights listed under the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report of 1962.

When asked whether the amendments would change Sarawak’s status as “territories” rather than states as currently defined in the Constitution, Wan Junaidi said the matter would be decided by the State Legislative Assembly.

“I leave it to the state to decide what they want in the spirit of the amendments so as to differentiate the status of Sarawak and other states in Peninsular Malaysia,” he said.

Wan Junaidi added that negotiations to make several other amendments to the Federal Constitution would continue by taking into account the interests of all parties involved.

These include a fairer distribution of parliamentary constituencies between Sarawak, Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia, as well as in the listing of state government’s technical agencies in the federal list to smoothen the implementation of development projects.