Amending Article 1(2) of Federal Constitution a gimmick, claims ex-rep

Voon Lee Shan - file pic

KUCHING, Oct 11: Former Batu Lintang assemblyman Voon Lee Shan believes the proposal to amend Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to return equal status to Sarawak and Sabah is just a gimmick to please the people of Sarawakians and Sabahans, because “things are done in a rush”.

Voon, who is a senior lawyer, opined that amending the constitution required an in-depth study, and this task was time-consuming. In addition, members of the public and stakeholders had to be consulted for their views before a draft could be tabled in Parliament.

“The state governments of Sarawak and Sabah have to be consulted, and they need to study the draft and comment on it.

“Amendments to the draft may be made too. It seems things are done in a rush,” Voon said in a statement today.

He opined that the august House might not have time to debate the proposed amendment during the coming sitting because the tabling of Budget 2019 would be more important.

Even if the amendment was to be passed, Voon reckoned it would have no effect on Sarawak and Sarawak’s rights, which had been eroded over the decades.

“The whole federal constitution has to be ‘overhauled’ if the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government wants to achieve a meaningful amendment because many provisions or Articles are interrelated.

“At the same time, many laws that had taken away our rights need to be repealed. These include the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) and the Territorial Sea Act 2012 (TSA),” he said. — DayakDaily