Equal status Bill: GPS has no stand at all, says Padungan rep

Wong King Wei

KUCHING, April 10: Padungan assemblyman Wong King Wei believes that the constitutional amendment debacle showed that Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) has no stand.

“The Chief Minister of Sarawak (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) supported the constitutional amendment to restore the status of Sarawak and Sabah early March this year but objected to the amendment Bill tabled for its first reading in Parliament on April 4.

“During a vote on April 9, GPS MPs abstained from voting. Such a flip-flop stand is playing politics rather than placing the interest of Sarawak above all,” said Wong in a press statement.

He said following that, Pakatan Harapan (PH) had altered the wording before tabling the second reading of the proposed constitutional amendment, which is in line with the exact wording of the Constitution in 1963.

“A political secretary to the Chief Minister termed this as the result of some pressure by Sarawakians, an effort likened to victory. If this is so, why didn’t GPS support the Bill?

“To conclude, GPS has no stand at all. They act based on and for their political interest,” said Wong.

He said if GPS thought the proposed amendment to the Federal Constitution’s Article 1(2) was a trap, they should object to it and not abstain from voting.

“What confuses me is that if the proposed constitutional amendment is a trap, why didn’t GPS objected to the Bill but chose to abstain from voting?

“MPs from Sabah, including the opposition bench (except for one), supported the Bill. I wonder why only MPs from GPS, Umno and PAS did not vote for the Bill?”

He said GPS was well aware that if the PH government succeeded in restoring the rightful status of Sabah and Sarawak, they were going to lose their political leverage, and they wouldn’t know how to face Sarawakians.

“Therefore, GPS would rather compromise the interest of Sarawakians in order to defend their own political interest.”

The Bill to amend Article 1(2) was tabled for first reading on April 4. After it was tabled for second reading yesterday, 46 MPs debated on it before block voting was initiated.

The Bill failed because only 138 MPs supported it, whereas it needed 148 votes (two-thirds majority) to pass. Fifty-nine MPs abstained from voting, while none voted against it. — DayakDaily