KUCHING, Nov 29: Former Batu Lintang assemblyman Voon Lee Shan is wondering what has become of the proposed amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution.
He suspects that the proposed amendment, which was to accommodate Sarawak and Sabah and the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), has been purposely put on the back-burner.
“What has happened to the proposed amendment as suggested by Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong? Now, all fronts are quiet and attention is diverted to other issues. The federal government is, hereby, reminded that the people of Sabah and Sarawak will not be quiet about this.
“Sarawak DAP (Democratic Action Party) and PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) being part of the federal government are urged to brief the people of Sabah and Sarawak about the development of this matter,” Voon demanded in a statement today.
He said since the amendment to the Federal Constitution to downgrade Sabah and Sarawak as 12th and 13th states in Malaysia should be considered null and void as per MA63, the state governments of Sabah and Sarawak should move a motion in their respective state legislature (DUN).
He said their respective DUN should declare that the amendment to Article 1(2) to the Federal Constitution in 1976 as null and void and has no effect at all on Sabah and Sarawak.
“The Parliaments (DUN) of Sabah and Sarawak should also declare Sabah and Sarawak are not states but are countries within the Federation of Malaysia. This political move is necessary so as to give the correct information about the status of Sabah and Sarawak within the federation,” opined Voon, who is a lawyer.
He gave a reminder that the MA63 is an international treaty signed on July 9, 1963. Under the MA63, Sabah and Sarawak were equal partners in the formation of Malaysia, and being equal partners, Sabah and Sarawak should also command 1/3 each of all seats in the federal Parliament. Without equal voting rights, Sabah and Sarawak would not have an equal voice in the august House.
“As MA63 is an international treaty, the Malaysian Parliament has no right in 1976 to amend the Federal Constitution to downgrade Sabah and Sarawak as 12th and 13th states in Malaysia. Malayan MPs could easily, to the detriment of Sabah and Sarawak, pass or amend any law. The amendment to the federal constitution of Article 1(2) in 1976 should be considered as null and void; not only was it against international law but it was also against the rule of equal voting right,” argued Voon.
Due to the dissatisfaction over the downgrading of Sabah and Sarawak as states, he said Liew had stated that an amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution would be tabled in Parliament when it convened on Oct 15, 2018, to allow Sabah and Sarawak to revert to their original positions as countries within Malaysia.
“Most, if not all Sabahans and Sarawakians, were very excited and welcomed the move taken by the Law Minister,” said Voon. — DayakDaily