‘Premier’ designation: Sarawak entitled to amend its constitution – Shamrahayu

MELAKA, Feb 21 — Sarawak has the right to amend its constitution, including changing the Chief Minister designation to ‘Premier’, said constitutional expert Prof Datuk Dr Shamrahayu Ab Aziz.

The Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Malay Rulers chair, however, said the amendment should be in line with the Federal Constitution.

“The draft of the Bill states that whenever the word Chief Minister is found in it, it should be read with the word Premier.

“So, whether the amendment complies with the provisions of the Federal Constitution or not, it is still a legal question.

“However, I want to emphasise that the state of Sarawak, as with other states, has its own state constitution and every provision in the state constitution must always be in line with the provisions of the Federal Constitution,” she said.

She told reporters this at a discourse session which was officiated by Melaka deputy speaker Datuk Khaidhirah Abu Zahar at the Melaka Department of Culture and Arts (JKNN) here today.

Also present was National Archives director-general Jaafar Sidek Abdul Rahman.

Asked whether the Federal Constitution should be amended to include the word Premier, she said: “so far we have not heard any proposal for that amendment, but I think the legal approach is provided for in the Federal Constitution, the supreme law in the country.”

On Feb 15, the Constitution of the State of Sarawak (Amendment) Bill 2022 which seeks to change the designation of ‘Chief Minister’ to ‘Premier’ was passed at the state legislative sitting with over two-thirds majority.

With the passing of the constitutional amendment, the term Assistant Minister will also be renamed to ‘Deputy Minister’.

State Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, who tabled the Bill said, the amendment to the Chief Minister’s title to ‘Premier’ would only take effect after it was gazetted.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency