Equal status bill: GPS wants to resolve all issues in one go — Dr Sim

Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian

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KUCHING, April 22: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said Gabungan Parti Sarawak’s (GPS) wants a ‘complete package’ of amendments to the Federal Constitution instead of just amending a single clause.

“The GPS stand is not to oppose the amendment bill but to demand a complete package of amendments (Article 1(2), Article 160 so as to restore Sarawak’s equal partner status in form and in substance.

“Since we are meant to come together to right the wrong made in the past, there’s no reason why we can’t iron out all the issues (a third of parliamentary seats, a third of national resources and revenue) once and for all before we are hurried into passing amendments to the constitution,” said Dr Sim in a press statement today.

He was commenting on the failure to pass the Amendment to Federal Constitution Article 1(2) Bill on April 9 in Parliament.

The Local Government and Housing Minister said the PH government’s refusal to listen to GPS MPs was also a factor leading to the failure of the bill.

“The failure of the PH (Pakatan Harapan) government to obtain a two-thirds majority support in Parliament is due to their own folly in turning a deaf ear to our demands to also amend the definition of ‘the Federation’ to mean the Federation of Malaysia established under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), not a Federation under the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1957.

“On this point, the PH Sarawak MPs under the leadership of YB Chong Chieng Jen was a huge let down to Sarawakians when they continued to push Sarawak to agree on cosmetic changes in the Bill but never cared to confront the PH government in its refusal to mention the MA63 in the constitution to acknowledge Sarawak’s equal status,” said Dr Sim. — DayakDaily