KOTA KINABALU: Sabah can now amend its own state constitution to restore the title of Governor to Yang di-Pertua Negara, restoring the original wordings of Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said Sabah will look to amend its own constitution to restore the title of the Sabah Governor from the

Yang di-Pertua Negeri to the Yang di-Pertua Negara.

“This is significant because it elevates our status compared to when we address our governor as Yang di-Pertua Negeri.

“We need to instill in the people’s minds the true status of Sabah, and for that matter, Sarawak, within Malaysia,” the Keningau MP said in a statement here Wednesday (Dec 15).

Kitingan, who is Sabah STAR president, said this will also restore the original wording of the Proclamation of Malaysia, where the Governor of Sabah was addressed as the Yang di-Pertua Negara of Sabah.

Between 1963 and 1976, governors of Sabah and Sarawak were known as Yang di-Pertua Negara before the Federal Constitution was amended to make Sabah one of the 13 states of the federation.

He said Tuesday’s amendment to Article 1(2) was only the first step toward restoring the true status of Sabah and Sarawak within the federation of Malaysia.

He also said the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah-led government will continue to fight for the full restoration of Sabah’s autonomy, particularly in the fields of education and healthcare.

He also pointed out that in addition to Article 1(2), the other flaw in the Federal Constitution is Article 160(2) which defines the “Federation” as the “Federation” established under the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1957.

“Sabah and Sarawak are not parties to this agreement. This interpretation must be corrected because otherwise, whenever the term ‘Federation’ is used in the Federal Constitution, it refers only to the states of Malaya.

“An amendment must be made to interpret the Federation as the Federation formed pursuant to the Malaysia Agreement 1963,” he added.

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