Equal status: Sarawak will not support amendment if bill falls below expectation, says GPS sec-gen

Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi - file pic

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, March 10: Nothing short of the best deal for Sarawak.

This is the condition that must be met before Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) MPs will vote for the proposed bill to amend Article 1 (2) of the Federal Constitution when it tabled in the next Parliament sitting, which starts tomorrow.

According to GPS secretary-general Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi, if the proposed bill is not up to mark, then they would insist that the bill be fine-tuned before they would vote for it.

“We will not vote for the bill if it falls short of what is good for Sarawak and for Sarawakians. And before we vote, we will look at the bill thoroughly first. If there are elements in the bill that are partially good or half-baked, we will insist they should put it right first.

“So, yes, we will only vote for the bill if it is absolutely good for Sarawak,” Nanta told DayakDaily here today.

Nanta, who is also Kapit MP and the grandson of the late Tun Jugah Barieng, who was one of the founding fathers of the federation, insisted that the proposed amendment bill must restore Sarawak’s original status as a region based on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

“Nothing less than the original terms and conditions or better still if it is a better deal than the original, will be accepted.”

Yesterday, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said he would advise Sarawak MPs to vote for the bill to amend Article 1 (2) of the Federal Constitution.

Several days ago, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong revealed that the proposed amendment bill would be tabled in the coming Parliament Sitting.

The amendment will need a two-thirds majority to be passed. The ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) government currently has 135 MPs, including nine from Warisan and one from Upko.

To have two-thirds majority support, it needs 148 MPs. This is where GPS can play a decisive role as it has 18 MPs after the departure of Sri Aman MP Datuk Masir Kujat from Parti Rakyat Sarawak (a GPS component party) to join Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB), a non-GPS party, on Thursday. — DayakDaily