Sabah, Sarawak miss opportunity to restore status as equal partners

11 Apr 2019 / 00:18 H.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah and Sarawak missed the opportunity to restore the status of both states as equal partners with the Peninsular as stated in the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63) after the proposed amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution was rejected at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

MA63 adviser to the Sabah government Zainnal Ajamain said the second reading of the Federal Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the moment that they had been waiting for the past 55 years.

However, he said, the effort to restore the equal status was defeated when it failed to obtain the two-thirds majority at the Dewan Rakyat.

“We know that in the first reading (by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong) there are problems, but in the second reading it (content) is taken from MA63, word by word, unchanged ... then it was also rejected.

“It (amendment defeated) has big implications. We have been waiting for 55 years, then we have this rare opportunity. The opportunity is there, but some people are still dissatisfied ... It’s up to them.

“I think the dissatisfied party should now think deeply, to reflect on what has happened and read as well understand it (MA63) better,“ he said in a press conference here today.

Zainnal claimed if the amendments had passed, it would have given Sabah and Sarawak the legitimacy to reclaim its continental shelf including natural resources such as billions of ringgit worth of oil and gas. — Bernama

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