MA63 should be acknowledged in proposed amendment to Constitution, asserts Santubong rep

Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar

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KUCHING, Jan 14: Santubong MP Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar reiterates Sarawak’s stand on the constitution amendment in that it must acknowledge the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) that brought Sabah and Sarawak into the Federation of Malaysia.

He pointed out that the failed constitutional amendment in April 2019 to revert Article 1(2) to the “original arrangement” was meaningless.

“It neither gives new meaning or interpretation nor brings with it any political or financial gain to Sarawak and Sabah.

“All it did was for the PH (Pakatan Harapan) leaders to tell the people that they (have) fulfilled their pledge or even worse, to give Sarawak and Sabah ‘equal partner status’,” he asserted in a press statement today.

Wan Junaidi was responding to Sabah activist Zainnal Ajmain who expressed hope that Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) lawmakers would not choose to abstain from voting for the amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution which is to retabled at the Dewan Rakyat this March.

Zainal also wondered whether Sarawak was ‘trying to play games’ and wanted to ‘drag out the issue’ by abstaining from voting for the first Constitutional (Amendment) Bill 2019.

“Sarawak is still one of the states in Malaysia. I am sure Zainal has read the Federal Constitution. Ask any lawyer whether there is any difference between the meaning and interpretation of Article 1(2) of 1963 with the one after amendment of 1976,” Wan Junaidi added.

The previous proposed amendment to Article 1(2), he claimed, was to divide the states in Malaya and the states in Borneo.

“But we still are and remain states within Malaysia nevertheless. There is no substantive difference in the meaning and interpretation of the original in 1963 with the one after the amendment in 1976,” he explained.

Wan Junaidi pressed that GPS had then proposed an amendment to Article 160(2) on the interpretation of the Federation to refer to MA63 instead of referring to the Federation formed in 1957.

“Even the Federal Agreement 1948 which formed the Federation of Malaya in 1948 is being mentioned in the Federal Constitution. (But) Malaysia was formed in 1963 after the MA63 was signed in July 1963 and brought into force on Sept 16 1963. And yet MA63 is not mentioned at all in the Federal Constitution today.

“That was why we, the GPS MPs, proposed the amendment of Article of 160(2) so that the Federation in the Constitution refers to the Federation formed in 1963,” he explained.

Wan Junaidi added that there was not enough time to give the 14-day notice to the Speaker of Dewan Rakyat for the amendment to be accepted for discussion.

“(This is) Because of the timeframe of the amendment tabled on April 4 and to be debated on the April 9.

“So, alternatively, we proposed the insertion of ‘…pursuant to Malaysia Agreement 1963…’ so that the words and spirit of the MA63 becomes part of the Federal Constitution.

“The insertion of ‘…pursuant to Malaysia 1963…’ does not change the basic structure of the Federal Constitution, but all we wanted done was to get the MA63 to be mentioned in the Federal Constitution,” he added. — DayakDaily