– by Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Oct 8: Three out of the 19 Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) MPs have agreed in principle to the proposed amendment of Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to elevate the position of Sarawak and Sabah as equal partners within the Federation of Malaysia.
The three lawmakers are Santubong MP Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing and Sri Aman MP Datuk Masir Kujat.
They were responding to an announcement by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law) Datuk Liew Vui Keong made here this morning that he would be meeting GPS MPs tonight to convince them to agree to the amendment.
Liew said once the articles were amended, everything else with regard to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) would fall into place. These include oil royalties, equal distribution and regional development.
Wan Junaidi said he agreed in principle with the proposed amendment as once it is passed in Parliament, Sarawak and Sabah would be given back their rightful status as enshrined in the MA63.
“I have no problem with it (the amendment). However, I will wait for the Bill to reach Parliament first. I want to see the whole Bill before I say yes. I want to see the details as the devil always lies in the details. I want to see if there is any catch,” Wan Junaidi told DayakDaily.
On tonight’s dinner, Wan Junaidi, who is a Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) supreme council member, said he did receive the invitation but would not be attending it, because the purpose of the gathering was not stated clearly and he also had other commitments to attend to.
Tiong, who is also Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president, also said he would not be at the dinner.
“The purpose of the meeting was not stated, and as I am now outstation, I will not make an effort to return to attend it. If the amendment is for the return of Sarawak’s rights as an equal partner to Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia, I will definitely support it.
“But of course, I will see what is the Bill about first, in case this is the case of ‘kasih satu, tarik sepuluh’ (give one, take ten)?” he said.
Masir, who is from Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), on the other hand, said he would not be attending the dinner hosted by Liew as there was no confirmation on whether there was any seat reserved for him.
“I could not make it initially. Then my function was cancelled, and I could make it. But they did not get back to me this morning. As it is by invitation only, I will not be attending,” he said.
Masir said he agreed in principle to the amendment, but “we need to see the Bill first and at the same time, we also need to see what is the view of the chief minister. He is president of GPS”.
GPS comprises PBB, PRS, PDP and Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP). — DayakDaily