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KUCHING, Sept 17: DAP Batu Kitang chairman Abdul Aziz Isa has called out GPS for allegedly calling itself the defender of Sarawak rights but never showing any interest to restore the status of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners.
Abdul Aziz was referring to the motion to amend Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution which did not materialise after falling short of the required two-third majority support in Parliament when Pakatan Harapan (PH) was in government.
“To amend the Federal Constitution, the bill needs to get two-thirds majority support from both lower chamber (Dewan Rakyat) and upper chamber (Dewan Negara) before receiving the Royal Assent.
“Not only that, the majority of MPs from Sarawak, particularly the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) did not support the bill.
“Had GPS supported the bill tabled by the then PH government, Sabah and Sarawak would have been equal partners with Malaysia now,” Abdul Aziz asserted in a statement yesterday released in conjunction with Malaysia Day.
Abdul Aziz, who is also a special assistant to Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen, emphasised that the only party that supported the bill from East Malaysia was Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) showed that the Sabah-based party put Sabahans’ interests first.
“Since the formation of Malaysia, DAP has been the only political party that consistently embraces multiculturalism, multilingualism and multiracialism in this country.
“Apart from that, DAP has been proven in track record for defending the state’s rights as shown by its past and present MPs,” he added.
For Sarawakians, he emphasised that Malaysia Day was very important because it commemorates the struggle of the founding fathers who made the decision to bring Sarawak, North Borneo, Singapore and Malaya together to form the Federation of Malaysia.
“However, some of the rights bestowed on Sabah and Sarawak before the formation of Malaysia has slowly and systematically been downgraded by local parties,” he added.
Based on the Parliament Hansard, Abdul Aziz shared, DAP MPs were the one who objected to the 1976 Constitutional Amendment which downgraded the status of Sabah and Sarawak from equal partners to merely 12th and 13th states within Malaysia when the motion was debated on July 12 and July 13, 1976.
“Back then, none of the MPs from Sarawak dared to stand up to oppose the bill. Surprisingly, it was the opposition MPs who were the ones to oppose the bill. They were Lim Kit Siang, Dr Tan Chee Khoon, Farn Seong Than and Lee Lam Thye,” he added.
As such, Abdul Aziz urged Sarawakians from all walks of life regardless of their race, religious conviction or political affiliation to rally behind DAP to defend the state’s rights and to restore the status of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners within Malaysia in the next coming state and general elections.
Earlier yesterday, Aziz and his team went to the ground to distribute 1,000 Malaysia flags to local hawkers and visitors at 3rd Mile Maong Bazaar Market, 4 1/2 Mile shop lots and Trinity Hub. — DayakDaily