The Sabah government will consider dropping the term 'state' if the amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution receives the support of elected representatives in Parliament.
Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal said the recognition of the amendment would be done when the time comes to ensure the matters sealed in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) could be realised as best as possible for the benefit of the people of Sabah.
"However, what is important now is getting the support (of MPs) first (to enable the amendment to be passed)," he told reporters after launching a special briefing on the Inland Revenue Board Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme in Kota Kinabalu today.
Shafie said this when asked whether the Sabah government planned to drop the term 'state' if Article 1(2) is amended.
On March 8, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Liew Vui Keong announced that the cabinet had agreed to amend the constitution to turn Sabah, Sarawak and the Peninsula into partners.
The agreement to amend the constitution had been made during a cabinet meeting, and is considered a major step towards realising MA63.
Shafie said what the people of Malaysia in Sabah wanted was nothing more than merely wanting the agreement sealed in MA63 to be fulfilled, including in the constitution, namely, recognising the positions of Sabah and Sarawak as territories, as in the past.
He said the state government understood and knew that Sabah and Sarawak were not yet nations, but territories with differences in terms of their autonomous positions, including the power of immigration and land taxation.
"The people of Sabah including Sarawak have long awaited the positions. Surely, it is a matter (MA63) which is close to their hearts and we want to touch the hearts of the people in both states," he said.
On the programme, Shafie said the special SVDP briefing was the best approach to attract more business community in Sabah into understanding the importance of paying tax.
The business community in Sabah was also urged to cooperate by performing their duties to pay taxes to enable more infrastructural developments to be implemented to benefit the people, he said.