Equal status: PKR leader hopes all GPS MPs will support amendment to Article 1(2)

Voon Shiak Ni

KUCHING, March 16: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) National Women vice-chief Voon Shiak Ni urged all members of parliament (MPs) from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) to support the bill to restore Sarawak’s status to its original position when it is tabled in the current Parliament sitting.

“The Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government has kept its pledge to restore Sarawak’s status as equal partners in the federation. Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad even gave the commitment last year,” she said in a press statement today.

In the next two weeks of Parliament sitting, she said the bill was expected to be tabled and debated before being put to the vote.

“It is an issue that is long overdue to be addressed. A bill of such purpose has never been tabled despite the loud public outcry from Sarawakians, especially the civil societies in the past few years.

“Today, as a Sarawakian, I am glad that we will finally see that Parliament will move this bill to restore the status of Sarawak as an equal partner in the federation,” she added.

Hence, Voon expressed her hope for all MPs from GPS to support the bill.

Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore inked the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) as equal partners to form Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963. But Singapore exited two years later.

“And 13 years down the road, the status of Sarawak and Sabah was downgraded from equal partners to Malaya to among the `13 states’ in Malaysia following amendments to Article 1(2) of the Constitution in 1976,” she shared.

Voon reminded that the people had high expectations of MPs from all political divide, so they should move forward together with the PH government to support this crucial bill. — DayakDaily