At least 1/3 Parliamentary seats to have stronger say in protecting S’wak and Sabah’s rights

Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

By Ling Hui, Lian Cheng and Karen Bong

KUCHING, April 16: Sarawak is fighting for at least one-third Parliamentary seats for itself and Sabah as a protective measure against further stripping of their rights.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said Sarawak and Sabah would be left defenseless if all the Peninsular Malaysia Members of Parliament (MPs) were to vote for any bill that is to the detriment of Sarawak or Sabah’s rights.

“There are quite a number of rights of Sarawak inside the (Federal) Consituition. So, it is expected when Sarawak and Sabah have got at least one-third (Parliamentary seats), they will be able to protect themselves through their MPs.

“That means in the event that we come at loggerheads where the Malaysian government want to erase or reduce more rights of Sarawak and Sabah, they could just bulldoze it if all the MPs sitting in Parliament from Peninsular Malaysia were to vote for the bill.

“There’s nothing that the MPs from Sarawak and Sabah can do or fight on,” he told DayakDaily reporters today, stressing that the two-thirds majority that comes from Peninsular Malaysia alone would be sufficient for the amendment of a constitution.

Abdul Karim, who is also Youth and Sports Minister, added that Sarawak is merely asking for its rights to be returned as per the fairness portrayed in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

He noted that when Singapore that was once a part of the Federation of Malaysia left, Peninsular Malaysia “conveniently undertook all the quota held by Singapore”, and that is depriving Sarawak and Sabah of their fair share of voices in the Parliament.

“We only want all these things to be returned back, not to say that we are asking it unnecessarily.

“We are just asking back our rights. Those are the things that came about in the negotiations pursuant to the signing of the MA63,” he said. — DayakDaily