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KUCHING, Oct 23: DAP Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen has slammed the GPS government for postponing the Amendment Bill to the Constitution to restore Sarawak and Sabah’s equal partner status in Malaysia to December.
Chong said that this is the second time the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) has failed Sarawakians as there is absolutely no reason for the postponement of the Bill to December.
“The postponement of the Bill by the current government shows that the GPS is not serious about the restoration of Sarawak’s status and the devolution of power in education and healthcare to the State.
“This just goes to show that the GPS is not serious about the Constitution Amendment and merely uses it as a political propaganda tool, for the convenience of their election campaign,” he criticised in a statement today.
Chong, who is also Stampin MP, pointed out that they have proposed a second amendment of the Bill to devolve power in education and healthcare to the State by listing the matters in the concurrent jurisdiction of both Federal and State specific to Sabah and Sarawak.
He disclosed that De facto law Minister Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar in a briefing on Oct 12, 2021 on the proposed amendment, has all the provisions of the proposed amendment and was briefing all the Members of Parliament (MPs) from both sides of the House.
“During the meeting, he also mentioned that all the three Attorney-Generals of the Federal, Sarawak and Sabah governments have agreed on the provisions.
“Then came the shocking news that the Bill which was scheduled to be tabled in Parliament on the 28th for second reading will be postponed to mid-December.
“This is the second time that GPS has failed Sarawakians,” he said.
The first time GPS failed Sarawakians on this matter, he continued, was on April 10, 2019 when the then Pakatan Harapan (PH) government tabled the Amendment Bill and the GPS’ 18 MPs did not support the Bill, thus the Bill was defeated in failing to obtain the two-third majority (148 votes) to support the Bill.
“Then, the 138 MPs voted in support of the Amendment Bill, (but was) 10 short of the required 148 number to pass the two-third majority support. All GPS’ 18 MPs abstained.
“Now, with 115 MPs in the government plus the 89 PH MPs already confirming their support for the Amendment Bill as presented by Wan Junaidi in the briefing, there is easily more than two-third of the MPs in support of the Bill.
“Therefore, there is absolutely no reason for the postponement of the Bill to December, 2021,” he added.— DayakDaily