KUCHING, April 6: Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen is accusing Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) of playing up the devolution of power issue for political mileage.
Judging from the statement by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on the proposed amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution earlier today, he said the GPS chairman was just finding excuses to oppose the Bill.
“His (Abang Johari) statement is full of indications of a man who is trying to find a way out from his initial statement to support the Article 1(2) amendment,” said Chong in a statement this afternoon.
Chong, who is also Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak chairman, said the Chief Minister’s printed statement did not mention any wordings of Article 1(2) as proposed by the PH government because there was no fault in the proposed amendment.
“Yet, he is now raising a new point, that is the need to amend Article 160 of the Federal Constitution.
“All along, attention, discussions and comments were only focused on Article 1(2). It was only when the PH government took the first step to restore Sabah and Sarawak to their initial status by amending Article 1(2) that this fresh point is now brought up,” he said.
Chong said when the PH government was still having the lengthy discussion on the devolution of power, the GPS members complained that nothing was done and that the PH government was not sincere.
He said when the PH government took the first step to submit the amendment to restore Sarawak and Sabah to their initial status, the GPS complained that they wanted a wholistic amendment.
“What GPS is now asking the PH to do is for the PH government to also amend something that has been there since 1963.
“My question is, if that is so essential, what has the Barisan Nasional (BN) and the GPS parties been doing since 1974 when they joined BN till 2018 — a period of 44 years?” Chong asked.
He revealed that any constitutional amendment that would restore Sarawak to its initial rightful position would also prove the wrongs done by BN to Sarawak all these decades.
“GPS, being part of BN, will have no way of exonerating themselves from blame. If Warisan — a Sabah-based party that is also not in PH can accept the Bill, there is no reason why Sarawak cannot accept,” argued Chong. — DayakDaily