Abang Johari: Sarawak Constitution only allows Sarawakians to stand in State Election.

Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg. Source (pic): TTF Files

ابڠ جوهري: ڤرلمباڬان سراوق هاڽ بنركن اورڠ سراوق تنديڠ دالم ڤيليهن راي نڬري

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the amendment of Article 16 of the Sarawak Constitution is unnecessary in view that the legislation has stated very clearly that only Sarawakians can stand in the State Election.

He was asked to comment on PBB Information Chief Dato Idris Buang’s statement yesterday where he proposed that Article 16 of the State Constitution be amended to ensure that only “loyal Sarawakians” can contest in state elections.

Idris in his statement had urged the state government to propose the amendment of Article 16 in the next State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting as he said the Article was now obsolete and irrelevant to the current political trend in Sarawak.

Article 16 states: “Every citizen of or over the age of twenty-one years who is resident in the State is qualified to be elected as an elected member of the Dewan Undangan Negeri, unless he is disqualified for being such a member by the Federal Constitution or this Constitution or by any such law as is mentioned in Article 17.”


KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the amendment of Article 16 of the Sarawak Constitution is unnecessary in view that the legislation has stated very clearly that only Sarawakians can stand in the State Election.

“Our Sarawak Constitution is very clear. Only Sarawakians can stand in the state election,” he told reporters when met after officiating the Sarawak Travel App and Portal at a hotel here today.




He was asked to comment on PBB Information Chief Dato Idris Buang’s statement yesterday where he proposed that Article 16 of the State Constitution be amended to ensure that only “loyal Sarawakians” can contest in state elections.

Abang Johari said the proposal by Idris was merely his point of view.

“I do not know if at Parliament level… Melaka can stand in Penang and Penang can stand in Melaka. Maybe we are governed by parliamentary election.

“But our constitution is very clear. Only Sarawakians can stand in state election.

“Malaya sik dapat (Peninsular Malaysians cannot),” he reiterated.

Idris in his statement had urged the state government to propose the amendment of Article 16 in the next State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting as he said the Article was now obsolete and irrelevant to the current political trend in Sarawak.

Article 16 states: “Every citizen of or over the age of twenty-one years who is resident in the State is qualified to be elected as an elected member of the Dewan Undangan Negeri, unless he is disqualified for being such a member by the Federal Constitution or this Constitution or by any such law as is mentioned in Article 17.”

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Article 17 gives DUN the power to disqualify people from being its member.

Idris, who is a lawyer, said the current interpretation of ‘resident’ in Article 16 was quite loose as it could mean a person staying in the state for a short period of a few months when instead, he felt it should be a person who has a “substantial Sarawak connection.”

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