By Karen Bong and Nancy Nais
KUALA LUMPUR, April 9: Kota Samarahan MP Rubiah Wang urged for a holistic approach without rushing into amending the Federal Constitution.
“We want a comprehensive amendment that not only involves changing the status of Sarawak in Malaysia but that the interests of Sarawakians and special rights of Sarawak be taken into account in the amendment,” she pointed out during the debate after the second reading of the Bill to amend Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution was tabled in Parliament today.
The fight to pursue the provisions of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) started since 2012, she said, and that Sarawakians were hopeful of seeing changes by the leadership in Malaysia, especially in the aspects of handling and implementation of matters pertaining to the Constitution, including Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
She also dismissed the accusation by Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii that the previous Barisan Nasional government did not care about the demands from the Sarawak government.
“As Batang Sadong MP (Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri) has mentioned earlier, there was a steering committee to oversee this matter. In the first phase, negotiations for the return of autonomy and privileges of the people of Sarawak approved 12 matters,” she said.
“But the second phase failed to be implemented, and, thus, we are hopeful that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government can continue this as promised in their manifesto,” she added.
While Sarawak welcomed this amendment, Rubiah, however, reiterated that the amendment must give priority to the special rights of the people of Sarawak.
“The amendment should be comprehensive and must be agreed to by the technical committee and any amendment must be done in a holistic manner instead of minor changes, which later will require more changes be done,” she emphasised.
Rubiah gave reassurance that Sarawak under the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government welcomed the amendment but appealed for it to first be referred to the governments of Sarawak and Sabah respectively as well as representatives of the Federation of Malaya.
“This is to ensure that all stakeholders will benefit. We welcome this amendment but let this be done by taking into consideration the recommendations and demands of the Sarawak government and the people,” she urged.
“Thus, we suggest that this amendment be fine-tuned and be referred to the select committee so as to meet the demands or to bring about more benefits to all parties,” she concluded. — DayakDaily