Bill to amend Constitution not shelved but to be ‘perfected’ once and for all, says Bintulu MP Tiong

Dato Sri Tiong King Sing

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KUCHING, Oct 28: The postponed tabling of the Bill to amend the Federal Constitution in line with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) is to ensure that it is ‘perfect’ and will contain accurate amendments to secure Sarawak’s rights for good.

Unlike Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) regime back in 2019, Bintulu MP Dato Sri Tiong King Sing said the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS)-led State government this time does not wish to table “watered down” amendments in a rush.

He said the House of Representatives is now largely focused on the tabling of Budget 2022 and subsequent debates, but there will be enough time to bring back the tabling of the Bill to amend the Constitution.

He said this when refuting Tanjung Batu assemblyman Chiew Ching Sing’s earlier claims that the delayed tabling of the Bill is the same as shelving the amendments.

Meanwhile, Tiong recalled the Bill to amend Constitution in 2019, proposed by PH during its administration then, which did not get two-thirds majority from the Cabinet, and therefore was not passed.

“GPS greatly opposed the Bill when it was tabled for first reading by the PH government because it had not addressed the entirety of the issues related to MA63. The amendments should have included other articles but PH firmly disagreed at the time.

“We (GPS) strongly requested that the amendments to Article 1(2) must be in line with the provisions of the MA63 during the second reading. PH disagreed with this and yet, Chiew is now claiming credit for it.”

Instead of performing publicity stunts through this Bill now, Tiong welcomed Chiew and Democratic Action Party (DAP) to provide needed criticism after the Sarawak government finishes with the entire process of tabling the Bill.

“Perhaps what we do will not be as complete or as perfect as we want it to be, but it will still not be too late to give comments if there is a need then,” he said in a statement today.

For now, instead of pushing an imperfect constitutional amendment just as a populist move, without heed of future consequences, it is better to take the time to perfect once and for all the amendments that would fortify Sarawak’s sovereignty in the long term, Tiong stressed. — DayakDaily