First reading of bill to amend Article 1(2) of Federal Constitution likely April 8-9, says Chong

By Nigel Edgar

KUCHING, March 23: The bill to amend Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution is likely to be tabled for first reading between April 8 and 9.

Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen said an internal directive had been issued to all Pakatan Harapan (PH) MPs to be present in Parliament from April 8 to 9.

This, he said, indicated that the bill could be tabled and read on one of these dates.

“Normally, it’s a five-week session of the Parliament sitting. So, in the past practice, the first three weeks would be debate and winding-up of the King’s address. After that, whatever bills to be tabled and passed in this session will be first read.

“So, likely, we’ll be seeing it (tabling and reading) sometime next week, the first reading of the bill and the formal tabling of the amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution,” said Chong when updating reporters on the progress of the proposed amendment.

The amendment seeks to change the status of Sarawak and Sabah from ‘state’ to equal partners with the Peninsular Malaysia in the Federation of Malaysia.

Asked if he had seen the bill, Chong said it would only be revealed after it is read and tabled.

“Only after the bill is read the first time then it will be put on the paper,” he explained. — DayakDaily