Rejection of amendment bill: ‘Madness. We’re back to 1976’ — PKR leader

Voon Shiak Ni

KUCHING, April 10: The failure to pass the Federal Constitution Article 1(2) Amendment Bill 2019, in Parliament yesterday has been regarded as ‘madness and heading back to 1976’.

PKR national Women vice-chief Voon Shiak Ni said back in 1976, Sarawak was degraded to one of the 13 states under the entity of Malaya states. Fellow Sarawakians had objected fiercely as it was not one of the states in Malaya.

“Our Pakatan Harapan (PH) government was putting back (with the amendment bill) what has been eroded in 1976, whereby the Federation of Malaysia shall have Malaya states as an entity and Borneo states, Sabah as an entity and Sarawak as an entity.

“Sarawak will not be a state under Malaya if the amendment to Article 1 (2) of the constitution was passed last night. This is madness! We are back to 1976,” Voon said in a statement today.

After much deliberation on the matter during the debate at the second reading of the bill and after the words of the said amendment was made to read exactly the same as contained in Section 4 of Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) to reinstate the equal status of Sabah and Sarawak as a separate entity from Malaya states, Voon said she could not see any good reason for Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) to abstain from voting.

“It was a letdown and, honestly, I was surprised GPS chose not to vote; thus, the bill cannot be passed because we do not have the two-thirds majority support.

“The majority of Sarawakians are aware that the voting for reinstating the status of equal partner does not in any way erode the rights of Sarawakians.”

Voon then asked, “If GPS cannot work together with the federal government to put up the first brick, how are we going to build the house aspired by all Sarawakians?”

“It is an irony, indeed. Our PH representatives from the Malaya states are all the more willing to support the voice of our Sarawak PH to reinstate the status of equal partner in exactly the words carried in MA63 and had stayed until 10pm to cast their votes, but our own GPS reps from Sarawak declined to vote.”

Describing it as a big let down, Voon said they (PH) would leave it to fellow Sarawakians to judge. — DayakDaily