KUALA LUMPUR: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong today brushed off claims that the proposed amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution was done in haste, saying the MPs from Sabah and Sarawak were given ample time to deliberate the matter.
He said a memorandum on the amendment was given to both the Sabah and Sarawak state governments two months ago to obtain their views.
“So, when the ulasan (review) came back, the Sabah state government supported the amendment but the Sarawak (state government) said they have to wait for the Jawatankuasa Dewan Undangan Negri (State Legislative Assembly Committee) view on that.
“I am made to understand that the State Legislative Assembly Committee set up by the Sarawak state government met them on March 29, 2019. So, the State Legislative Assembly Committee has advised them. So what are they saying no time?” he told a press conference at the Parliament lobby.
Liew said he invited all MPs for a briefing on the matter last Thursday but, unfortunately, the Sarawak MPs from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) did not turn up.
Batang Lupar MP Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim is reported to have said, among others, in a statement today that the people of Sarawak seriously want the amendment to be made holistically and without haste.
The government’s effort to amend the Federal Constitution to restore the original status of Sabah and Sarawak, as enshrined in the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63) on the formation of Malaysia, failed to get the two-thirds majority support in the Dewan Rakyat last night.
Asked whether the government would bring back the amendment proposal, Liew said: “It took 43 years, up to yesterday, to bring the amendment. We may have to wait another 43 years.”
The proposed amendment was to make Sabah and Sarawak equal partners as Peninsular Malaysia instead of being listed as states of the federation in Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution as was done in an amendment to the constitution in 1976. — Bernama