Equal status: Amend Article 160(2) of Federal Constitution too — Bandar Kuching MP

Dr Kelvin Yii - file pic

By Geryl Ogilvy

KUCHING, March 20: Amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to restore the status of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners to Peninsular Malaysia must also include Article 160(2) to redefine the term ‘the federation’.

Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said the term ‘the federation’ under Article 160 refers to the Federation established under the 1957 Federation of Malaya Agreement.

The term should be amended to ‘the federation’ established under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) to symbolise the facts and real history on the formation of the Federation of Malaysia.

“This is important not only for Sarawakians or Sabahans but also our friends in the peninsula because through this amendment, we are taking the first step to returning to the initial spirit to the formation of the Malaysian federation as envisioned by our past leaders.

“Despite the number of important reforms that we are making, there is still much work to amending the Constitution,” he said when debating the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong’s speech in the Dewan Rakyat today.

The meaning of “equal partnership” would be clear if MA63’s definition of “Malaysia” were incorporated into Article 160 (2), he pointed out.

“Nevertheless, this amendment is the first step out of many that we need to study and focus on if we want to fix all problems faced by Sabah and Sarawak, especially in equal and fair development for the whole nation,” the DAP lawmaker said.

Dr Yii also called for a review of the special allocation under the Constitution with reference to Sarawak under Article 112 (d) as well as the Petroleum Development Act 1974 and Territorial Sea Act 2012 to determine whether its implementation is ‘unconstitutional’ or not, so that the rights of Sabah and Sarawak to its natural resources, including oil and gas, could be determined.

He added that History subjects in school should be reviewed and updated to ensure more focus and appreciation towards the role of Sabah and Sarawak in the formation of the Federation of Malaysia.

“I hope that efforts to research on this matter does not end with only a report for us to read, but there will be steps and proactive measures taken to return the rights of the Sabah and Sarawak regions as stipulated under the Federal Constitution and MA63,” he said. — DayakDaily